Forgetting my personal situation and thinking only of others is something I rarely do, but I’m doing it for the second time in two nights. On Tuesday, around 8 pm, I was hit by a crushing wave of sadness for my late mother’s broken and wasted life, which the finality of her death robbed of all meaning; by my father’s sad and unfulfilled existence, dominated by responsible conduct and being a good provider; by my brother’s quiet disillusionment with everything and no doubt deep, concealed suffering; by the 200,000 years of our species’ existence, in which nearly everyone has mostly been miserable; and by the misery of nearly all life on earth since it first arose two billion years ago. The sadness drove me straight to bed and I slept for 13 hours. Tonight, the same sadness is hitting me again around 8 pm, but this time I’m soaking it up and feeling kinship with the general, nearly universal misery of all living things. From whales to microbes, we are a brotherhood and sisterhood of pain, and the inevitability and finality of death renders the pain of our lives meaningless and worthless. Every split-second that every living thing has ever spent in distress has been an outrage against life itself, but there is nothing we can do about any of it except endure until we return to the just bookend of nonexistence. Then we all have peace forever.