The thing that’s scariest about death by earthquake is how innocent and, at the same time, how conclusive it is. Unlike illnesses, which we can partly blame on our lifestyles and, often, our lack of resources to pay for healthcare; or unlike murders, which we can directly blame on the person who pulled the trigger or shoved the knife — an earthquake is as faultless as an infant. We can’t hurl accusations of injustice of any degree on an earthquake. It existed before us and will persist after us regardless of anything we do or say or conceive. It may be the closest thing to an omnipotent deity. It has limitless powers, innocence, and, well — wrath. It is also decisive, final, ultimate. All our aspirations, political ideologies, hard disks filled with pictures of our loved ones don’t matter to the second that earthquake swallows us whole like a whale does to plankton. All our everything turns to nothing and you can’t imagine any other way for the narratives of our lives to end as nonsensically and abruptly as the way an earthquake destroys us. We just end. That’s it. No stories of how brave we fought through our diseases, no tales about how divinely or badly we treated people before we were murdered; no legends of our great wars, no letters to justify how unconditional and passionate our love was. The earthquake just erases us and we’re gone. And if something is more terrible than dying, it is dying forever without an echo.