Is Death as Beautiful as Love? & A Tale of Lovers’ Leap

Photo by Joao Jesus from Pexels.

Is Death as Beautiful as Love?

“Death is as beautiful as love.” I vehemently disagree with this closing line from a poem I wrote in high school. I tried hard to remember the rest of the poem and understand what was meant, but unfortunately, that is the only line I can remember. I will tell you right up front that I think there is nothing that is as beautiful as love.

Seeking insight, I tried to imagine what a beautiful death would look like, perhaps stepping in front of a bullet intended for someone else or dying in defense of your country. Those are selfless and honorable ways to die.

Making a living will ensures a peaceful death when there is no hope of recovery and provides an end to the sufferings of family members. That is a responsible and loving way to die.

Maybe it would be beautiful to die holding the hand of the one you love and plunging to your death from one of the many famous “Lovers’ Leaps.” Well, maybe that kind of death isn’t beautiful, though it might be preferable to being forced into a loveless marriage. Having heard tales as a child about a “Lovers’ Leap” in West Virginia, this is the sentimental favorite among the candidates for a “beautiful death.”

Death is natural and something we all will experience, but we shouldn’t expect it to be beautiful. I believe that what is beautiful is the love that motivated the people involved in the scenarios mentioned, and not the death itself. As I stated at the beginning, I don’t believe that anything is as beautiful as love.

Going forward, since I couldn’t reconstruct the original poem, I decided to write a poem that included the line from the original poem, “Death is as beautiful as love.” After many failed attempts, I settled for writing a poem about an imaginary young couple at Lovers’ Leap, a sort of “Romeo and Juliet of the mountains.”

Photo by Svyatoslav Romano from Unsplash.

A Tale of Lovers’ Leap

Hand-in hand, Darling,

we climb to dizzying heights

above the valley,

where our feuding families

have forbidden us to wed.

Sweethearts forever,

standing on the precipice

above our valley,

hand-in-hand, we’ll leap into

eternity together.

Will they weep for us

down in the valley of hate?

Will the feuding end?

Will they bury us side-by-side

down in a valley of love?


Copyright© 2022 by Cheryl Batavia

Personal Note: I began writing this post in the hospital waiting room while Robert was undergoing emergency pacemaker surgery on Wednesday. He came home on Thursday and is recovering well. I may have been thinking some dark thoughts as I wrote, but the sun is shining now! A full recovery is expected in four to six weeks.

51 Comments

  1. An intriguing article and poem Cheryl. I agree, that there could be nothing more beautiful than love … A beautiful death is something else, and after having witnessed the death of my loved ones, the term “beautiful death” was never in my thoughts … Here is a beautiful song about the horrible death of Joan of Arc, by Leonard Cohen

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  2. Sorry, that last reply sent before I finished. They were saying what a wonderful corpse he was and I found it so strange and still do nearly 60 years later. I think the only thing beautiful about death is the peace that comes with it. 😊

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  3. Life is for living, not for death, except in situations you have already mentioned. I can understand the feelings, Cheryl, and I wanted to add some more details, but I’m happy that Robert has come home and is recovering fast. My prayers are with you. All the very best and beautiful ❤️💐

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  4. “Death is as beautiful as love.” Such a teen-thing to write…and to think it’s haunted you all these years. Worth pondering, as you have done. Unfortunately, kids still believe “lovers Leap’ stories to be romantic and ‘beautiful’ but then it’s not till we’re older where we see beyond the glitter of such a story.
    Your remembrance of that phrase? Timely.
    Your working through these darker times? A part of what makes ‘the beauty of love’ stand out against all odds.
    Take care

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    1. Laura, Thank you so much for understanding perfectly what I was trying to say and for your encouraging response. I think you are right that the reason I wrote that phrase was simply that it was a “teen thing.” You are also right about working through darker times.
      Wise words, Laura. ❤ ❤ ❤

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  5. Cheryl, as always you have written a wonderful post and a darkly beautiful poem. I agree that there is nothing as beautiful as love. Thank you for this thought provoking article. I am glad Robert is doing well. Make sure he takes it slow. 🤗❤️🙏

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  6. I vote for love, unfortunately, I’ve had to deal with an unhealthy amount of the other over my lifetime (untimely, stupidity, friend suicides, and too recently natural). Through all of it, I’ve come to grips with death being the easy instantaneous moment – it is the living that is left with the burden – appreciate the living will comment, so true.

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    1. Brian, I agree with your conclusions about the nature of death. The pain is experienced by those who remain. I too have experienced losses. Though sadness will always remain, I have found that, over time, the focus shifts to fond memories of those we have lost. May you find comfort in loving memories.

      May you always be surrounded by the love of friends and family. ❤ ❤ ❤

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  7. How utterly scary for you to sit in the hospital and have to wait woth such angst of the unknown Cheryl.
    I am delighted Robert took well to the pace maker and is reviving well. My BIL just had one out in and is feeling so much better. It is clear what a loving relationship you have by your beautiful poem. I have been to several beautiful
    And loving deaths, so it’s possible and hope we won’t be taking about that for awhile!💕💗💕.

    Sending lots

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    1. Thank you, Cindy, for your encouraging words. ❤ Yes, it was scary. Robert spent about 12 hours with a pulse hovering around 27-33 before he went to surgery. I am glad your BIL had a good outcome. That is what I am hoping for. I was with my late husband, holding his hand when he died. I am not in a hurry to repeat that experience. 🙂 Robert is making a good recovery and beginning to regain his strength.

      Wishing you lots of joy as the final preparations for the wedding are underway! ❤ ❤ ❤

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  8. Hi Cheryl,

    It’s beautiful, the way we assume expected events and “outline” of our lives, in the early age.

    As time passes those assumptions get tested, whether life or death.

    Love connects us. Every love story has filled the blank space that we had.

    It’s impossible to live without any kind of love (loving your life, loving a human or loving the beautiful surroundings etc.).

    You didn’t recall the complete poem, that’s okay. The life you’re going through, right now, has a larger value.

    Thank you for sharing feeling and thoughts. 🙂

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  9. My best wishes to you and Robert! He will recover soon by god’s grace. Birth and death are eternal truth for all creatures. Let’s not think of death in our lifetime that is bound to come one day in due course of time. This will help us live a more fulfilling life.
    Have good time!💐
    Regards.. 🙏🏾

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