News of motorbike death not just gory mesmerising spectacle with no higher purpose

He loved his bike. He was thinking of tomorrow, and put on a burst of speed. He didn’t see the van changing lanes until too late. The van driver wasn’t being careless, but he’ll never escape the guilt. His brains went across the dual carriageway. It was an appalling accident.

You should slow down to look at the wreckage

It seems like the lowest distraction. What monsters we are to crane our heads as we drive past, rubbernecking the scene of the tragedy, or to seek out the images of – for those involved – the worst day of their lives.

And yet what we are doing here, and feel queasy about, is deeply connected to an important theme.

Our lives don’t end when it makes sense to us. We can get cut down. So we’d better be ready, and we’d better make good use of our time.
Parts of our lives go wrong because we don’t keep death in mind; we become ungrateful for what we have, and wedded to uninspired habits. Death is the most terrible thing. But we can evoke the thought of death to evoke what life is about.

It’s this powerful fact that may be in the back of our minds when we rush to check up on the latest disaster. We’re not ghoulish. We are searching for the meaning of life.