Trevor Hayley


Funeral and Life Memorial Celebrant

A Caring Presence for you and your family so you can Celebrate a Life

Servicing Greater Adelaide, Fleurieu, South Coast and Adelaide Hills Regions of South Australia



May death tremble to take us

Legacy #4

A quote from German-Ameican poet, novelist and short stories, Charles Bukowski:

“We are here to laugh at odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.”

According to Wikipedia:

  • He was influenced by the social, cultural, and economic ambience of his home city of Los Angeles.
  • His work addresses the ordinary lives of poor Americans, including the act of writing, alchohol, relationships with women, and the drudgery of work.
  • He wrote thousands of poems, hundreds of short stories and six novels, eventually publishing over 60 books.

Interestingly, he was a man of interest to the FBI as a result of his column, Notes of a Dirty Old Man published in the LA underground newspaper Open City. Another of his works  Poems Written Before Jumping Out of an 8 Story Window, demonstrates he was not scared to push the envelope.

A man known for his deliberate clownish antics, he has left a legacy about being brave, being different, and making life count. 

Charles Bukowski lived through the Second World War and left this world in 1994, aged 73.

When I consider his quote above, I can almost imagine those final moments. Like the picture above, laughing and almost daring death to take him. It would seem not even the final breaths would phase him.

Why is it people can be so brave at the end?

Could it be, perhaps, there are no regrets?

Life has been all that life needs to be, and no stone has been left unturned. Such a life, can stare death in the face, and say ‘I am not scared of you. Take me if you dare!’

There is a different mindset at play here. Most of are scared of the fact, at some point life is going to come to an end. This is quite understandable, given life, on Earth will cease for each of us at some point.

But for Charles it is not a mumbing of something like, ‘I am ready’ but more a bombastic, larger than life, ‘come and get me.’

I think, perhaps, there is a healthy view of death here. Realising death has an end point, raising the stakes and our investment in every day, making it count, making a difference, and being the unique character the world needs.

After all, if you are not showing the world who you are, with what you know about yourself right now, the world is missing out.

This may even seem a little forthright, but there was no way in the world, Charles Bukowski was going to have the world miss out on him. He had too much creativity in him and needed to share it. 

And the world has come to appreciate him for it.

He has certainly left and legacy. A main who was not scared to be unashamedly and bombastically different.

The commentary in this blog is intended to be general in nature. It is just some observations from one fellow traveller in life to another. If anything in this blog raises issues for you, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or consult with a trusted medical professional.  

Photo by Dan Cook on Unsplash

Wikipedia source


Trevor Hayley
Servicing Greater Adelaide and Regional South Australia

Phone: 0409 107 372


ABN 73 737 609 724

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