Is the World full of Grim Reapers that are stealing souls?

Zackary Henson
6 min readDec 20, 2021


I’ve always been a fan of the dark entity infamously known for taking the souls of all near to death mortals…. to where ever he takes them. The underworld? Heaven or hell? The afterlife? Valhalla? So MYSTERIOUS.

After some quick research, I found out that the ol’ friendly reaper was possibly imagined during the Black Death plague of the 14th century. The reaper became kind of a representation of death, but without necessarily being tied to any specific mythology or religion. Dude, eerie and fuckin COOL.

For me, there’s always been this curiosity and intrigue of death. It has pierced my own thoughts and emotions, as if it has some purpose in my life. Death and the aforementioned entity himself has shown up in my graphite art, as well as the writing and content I’ve created. For whatever reason, the very dark and daunting idea of death sticks within my subconscious and tweaks the way that I see the world. But in truth, I think that it’s supposed to…isn’t it?

Seneca, the highly recognized Roman philosopher two millennia ago, wrote and repeatedly spoke of death. He emphasized it’s importance in our lives; it’s ability to help us live more intentionally based off the pure recognition of knowing that death will come (this has been my interpretation anyway). And in reminding myself of death, it’s kept me more consistent than I’ve ever been, kept me determined in my goals, and reminded me of the importance of joy and experiencing life, rather than putting it off ‘til tomorrow.

But, something has been bothering me of late. It’s this idea that has crossed my own philosophy in life that has become disturbing in how so many of us can act negatively in the world. What I’m asking, is the world stealing the souls of the people before we even beat our last heartbeat?

What I’ve seen, is that we’ve created more fear in each other than ever before; created fear instead of courage. Fear built off of our own fear maybe? Fear of lack of control? Fear of destruction? Fear of what we don’t know?

We’re CONSISTENTLY seeing voices that are describing HOW to live. People that have decided what the right and wrong way to live. People that have asked for there to be reprimand for anyone that lies outside their own beliefs or ideals. WHAT. THE. FUCK? The last time I looked, we were free to choose how to live, right? Isn’t that part of the Constitution?

Sooo…when did freedom and liberty go out the window? When did we get to the point of entitled individuals and social collaborations that have tried to force us into how we speak our truth and what we act out on?

It’s as if diversity itself has been cancelled. If you’re not educated, you’re probably unintelligent, close minded, and worthy of cancellation. If you’re not liberal and progressive, then you must be suppressive of women, transphobic, and part of the patriarchy. If you’re not accepting of everyone’s sensitivities and skeptical, then you must be apathetic and and ignorant. If you’re not religious, then you must be doing Satan’s work… some things that I have experienced personally.

Personally, I went to trade school instead of college. I shamed myself and discredited all of my inherent ability and passion. I loved progression and liberation until I realized I was mostly using it to prove to myself that I was better than others. I was constantly accepting of everyone and gave benefit of the doubt until I realized that was other people’s excuse to be lazy or to take advantage of me.

I have my own biases and perspectives. And those were built on experiencing multiple angles, and making judgement calls on what aligned with my own heart and soul; my own personal values. It’s the same for all of us. But why do some never consider this? Why are some so NOT okay with our differences?

Point being, as we grow individually it’s important to swing with the pendulum. Not just for more broad experience, but for the sake of understanding and empathy. For fucking LOVE OF OTHERS. The nation we live in has historically shown that everyone has/should have a voice that is entitled to self expression, but at the same time abused that right and used it to discredit and dehumanize others.

What makes us do this? Is it individual entitlement? Is it lack of experiencing detriment and downfall? Is it propaganda and agenda pushed by power?

To me, discredit, dehumanization, and criticism means that we have yet to experience the world from another human’s perspective, leaving us unable to understand and respect one another.

What seems to be unfolding, is that we have shouted from the tops of podiums, but with not much more than malicious intent. In doing so, and making demands, we have suppressed people into timid personalities and character that lacks courage to be authentic.

I’ve done it myself…I used to stand hard against men — YES, my own sex — about how vulgar, violent and immature they were…ignoring my own mistakes, and justifying what I HAD done. I was putting myself on a pedestal. I was labeling men, rather than understanding what causes these characteristics in the first place. I presented myself as a higher more pure being, not realizing that maybe I hadn’t had the trauma or difficulty of my fellow man. I struck out at men for their mistakes. I blanketed a majority of humans all because I lied outside of it.

Fact: these characteristics of violence, vulgarity, and immaturity are TAUGHT. Our ability as men to have these negative attributes may be more inherent or instinctive to the sex of men than that of women, but they are exacerbated and amplified by shitty role models, by sexist and suppressive nurturing, and by society itself when we blanket men as a whole. And the proof they are taught is in our ability NOT to be these things; our chances and opportunities that show the world that we can be other than….just an FYI for the men who struggle with identity.

The world has given real life, blood and bone, emotional and bias humans the right to take away other human’s souls. A right that none of us should get. Ever.

We have created a world of grim reapers…

I’m not saying we shouldn’t have voices. I’m not saying we don’t have a right to speak our truth, quite the opposite actually. All I’m saying is that with such easy platforms in which to play on the emotions of others, we have also done a great disservice to the real purpose of this country and our unalienable rights: “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”. We have taken it into our own hands the power to suppress other people for who they are or who they would love to be…because we’ve taken up extremes, and ignored the gray area. We’ve lost respect understanding and love for each other.

And to do that, is to steal a person’s soul. New generations are entering a world full of fear, rather than of courage. So, we wander the world within limitation. Never daring to step outside the stereotypical minimum of life standard. Never truly letting their souls lead them. Because, what? We rely on the world to help define us…and reapers have stepped in and limited that definition.

There’s only one “grim reaper”, and his purpose is to take a soul at the end of a life, not in the middle of it, or God forbid the beginning of it.

We should all…with love and grace and respect…support, promote, and clear the way for all others to live through their soul’s purpose, passion, and life meaning.

Let’s do this…

BTW, this particular banksy seemed somewhat relevant to the subject. Anyone else a banksy fan?



Zackary Henson

Writer who questions everything. Self, Behavior, Perspective, Connection. Truth and love.