When my Granddad passed away a few months ago, it wasn’t an overly sad affair. Obviously everyone will miss him but he was old and starting to really struggle with living, especially the more his mind was going.
So far…thats not happened. My nana is sad, yes, but getting on with life. She is still frail and has a myriad of health problems, but she is planning on redecorating her sitting room.
So death has been on my mind.
It is something that I actually feel very, afraid, I guess, about.
I know rationally it’s not death I fear, but rather the missing out on things that I want to do, feel, experience etc.
I gather if I was in my nans shoes, mid-80s, lived a full life, I might not be worried.
But I worry about dying young.
I’ve had a few brushes with death in my short life so far, and health inflictions which detriment my quality of life, but I just have this worry in the back of my mind that won’t go away: What if I die tomorrow?
This then led me to thinking about our society and culture. To talk about death is morbid. The talk about your own death especially seems to be a sign that there is something wrong. People bristle when it’s mentioned.
Then I found this wonderfully zany woman on You Tube: Ask a Mortician. Now I guess in Youtube numbers terms, she isn’t huge, but that’s still a fair chunk of the interwebs looking for practical answers about death. Interesting.
So, what about everyone else? Are people really able to not think about it? To convince themselves to avidly that it’s not going to happen. Or do they know so indelibly that it is going to happen therefore no point thinking about it? I mean, we all have date with death but he is the most uncompromising host, there isn’t even an invitation. When its time it’s time and you have to just drop everything and rush to his call.
Then on the other hand is our culture obsessed with death? Insurances, religions, children. They all have an undercurrent of death. Insurances, obviously taking care of your funeral and looking after your family financially when you die. Religions are all about death, especially the main ones like Christianity and Islam. It’s all about being as good as you can before you die because thats when the party really starts.
Then children…well, they are your biological legacy…and people to help look after you when you are too old to do it yourself.
It’s a mildly reoccurring theme in Fantasy/Sci Fi I guess, knowing the date of your death and how different people would react. I guess that’s vaguely what patients with terminal illnesses go through. What would you do if you knew you had 6 months to live?
You could be paralysed by the pressure. Knowing would render you incapable of doing anything thanks to indecision. It’s crunch time. Out of everything in this world that you’ve ever wanted to do and never found the time what can you fit into 6 months? Obviously in an ideal world you’d be ridiculously rich like Jack Nicholson in The Bucket List. But in reality….
Or maybe you would do everything, live those 6 months to the extreme and have the best times you’ve ever had.
Suspend belief for a lifetime I guess. Behave and act as though you are going to be around to deal with the consequences. I think perhaps I need to put some time aside to grieve my own death, to come to terms with not living forever.
It was good to get these thoughts out even if no-one is put at ease by reading them 🙂
Here is a cute dog picture: