The knowledge of death is reflective and conceptual, and animals are spared it. They live and they disappear with the same thoughtlessness: a few minutes of fear, a few seconds of anguish, and it is over. But to live a whole lifetime with the fate of death haunting one’s dream and even the most sun–filled days —that’s something else.
Ernst Becker, The Denial of Death, 1973. (As quoted by Mark Z. Danielewski in House of Cards. Pantheon Books New York, 2000).