A Strange Thing About Death

I’m sorry I missed my post last week, I don’t write because my grandmother had died so I decided to take people’s advice and rest to process all that was going on.

I’m really happy that I did, it gave me time to really sit and think about the relationships in our lives and how the dynamics will change with the loss of our families matriarch and give me a much-needed respite from the stress of my everyday life.

Now, I had been fortunate up to this point in my life not to have lost anyone close me, some family but not a grandparent. This though meant that I really didn’t know how exactly this news would hit me. It had be several weeks preparing for the what would become the “inevitable”. The waiting I think was the worst part, knowing it was going to happen but never knowing when. The conclusion I came to after all of this is that death, quite frankly, is…strange.

It’s not a gradual thing, even when it process happens over the course of a lifetime. Despite the metaphor of being ‘half dead’ there is no halfway with death, it’s one moment that you are living, and the next you are gone. Even when death comes with a slow weakening it only at the moment when the body finally shuts down when living gives way that death comes.

Death to me is just a fact, though one that sends ripples through the family and friends centered around it. To know that death has come is weird, because it doesn’t hit you all at once, at least not for me. It just is, or was when it happened. Life has to carry on for the rest of us still here but this new fact carries a cloud that follows overhead.

It makes you ruminate on memory, reminisces of the times with that person but like with the end of many relationships you think about all the missed opportunities the future will never bring. That there are things you did with that person that you never knew would be the last time you did them. An unfulfilled see you later or next time hold this weight make you wonder of how many of these we have in our lives.

Ultimately our relationships will change as the pillar that we derive some of these relationships from is now gone. The stings the bind us to each other become lax waiting to be pulled taught. Some of these relationships will fade away, others will strengthen but there is no doubt in my mind that they will change. Without that person, they will have to learn to carry on, without that person, we will have to learn to do it on our own.

What I thought of last is legacy, when someone dies their ability to manipulate the world personally falls away and so those around them must become the arbiters of their will. Even outside of the thoughts of heaven comes a true death, at least in this world. It is when someone is forgotten, their name uttered for the final time, or when the will becomes waves and then ripples and then still. She lives within me because I carry a part of her within and I am much stronger for it.

What is left is what is what I will carry with me, the words that she always spoke and resounded in my heart of hearts.

“Remember you are loved”

Thank you for the memories, the lessons and the love, both of you.

Death.

In the spirit of the holiday of Halloween, I wanted to turn my attention to the topic of death. Know this will be a bit darker than normal.

Death.  I’ve honestly been thinking about it lately.  The idea of death, what it would mean to die.  Now, I’ve never seriously entertained the thought of speeding up the process; I’m too Catholic for that. I have felt, though, as if I have wanted to die.  As if I wanted my existence to end,  and the suffering involved with pressing on to cease. Those moments, where it seems as if I’ve already messed up too much and it’s not going to get any better from here.  Where the world just looks like it’s against me, death becomes a choice.

Death is a self-involved choice, something that would be done without anyone else in mind, because the results of death effects not only but the people around you. The only reason I would do it to add a bookend to my life, to see the culmination of my life put together.   I would love to attend my funeral; it’s in the way to get the review of the book  that authors put on the back cover,  taking who I am and compressing it into something that some that understandable. The only problem with that plan is that I would have to be alive, and you can’t have a funeral for someone who hasn’t died yet. The question stands, when do we really die.  Is it when we give up on our last breath or is when we give up on our last dream.  Is it when our brain stops functioning or when we stop being remembered.

Whatever happens after death is for the living.  Funerals, burials, and rituals all stand to give that closure to those who are left behind.  Each culture giving some credence and someway to remember those who have come before us.  It’s then, on the day after Halloween, All Saints and All Souls day that we take a moment to remember all those who have perished. We all have our own way, but is something calls to be dealt with whether we like it or not.

What does death mean then, as it has no intrinsic meaning to it, it can only be given meaning. Unfortunately, the people around you can only really give you the answer.  With each different belief, we can only speculate as why someone lived and died in the first place.  Whether or not you believe in an afterlife or sorts, death is a very final act on show that is your life.

As of now, I can only say that death is a motivator to make sure the book of my life has a happy ending, and that it may be worth a read along the way.