Well boys and girls today's topic is my thoughts on death. I realize this topic is not for everyone so feel free to exit now if you like. Its just that this concept has had too much reality in my life over the past year and I find myself meandering in the corners of my mind and am unsure what my actual feelings concerning the matter are. I mean I realize that we are all going to die and having people you love die is most likely immensly different than going through it yourself and I am finding that the experience of losing someone is different depending on the circumstances of that death.
When my grand-dad died, it was fast-quick-unexpected and while I was only 11 and thought he was old at the time, the reality is that he was incredibly young (age is so relative is it not?). I was stunned and I didn't really understand anything beyond my own sadness and the sadness of my family.
When my granny died, it was slow and painful as the cancer ate through her body and again, relatively she was young and I was very pregnant and emotional and she was like my second mom so it was an incredibly painful experience and mostly I was angry. 'Course as those of you who know me well will realize that when I am really in pain, it reflects itself as anger - not something I am particularly proud of and while I have been working on expressing myself in more appropriate ways, it doesn't always work so my friends please bear with me on this one and hopefully I will continue to improve.
When my sister died, she was in so much pain for so long and it was a long intense drawn out process of months of intensive care. I think that painful as it was when she died, it was almost a relief and I felt and still feel that it was the best thing for her. Not necessarily the best thing for all of us 'cause she was so beautiful and loving and missing her is really hard on everyone in our little family but she no longer has to feel the pain. It was really hard on me in that it brought back a ton of "I thought I dealt with it" stuff stemming from as far back as when I was 7 and she was born. The anger and feelings of guilt and all the time spent roaming hospitals as a child and the responsibility and the love and the self-destruction and the whole schmazol of crap that wound around in my head - well its a lot as most of you know but having worked it out prior to her death, it was a much less painful and much shorter process sorting it all out again.
Now, my grandpa has been in the hospital getting renal dialysis as his kidneys have failed and he has been doing really well. However, I just found out yesterday that he has bone marrow cancer and so he will die in the next 6-12 months. How do I feel about this? Well I don't know. The man is 87 years old and by his own admission, he has lived a really good life. He says he is ready to die and he doesn't see it as a bad thing. I tend to agree. I mean ideally everyone would live forever, in ideal health but this is not our reality as human beings. We should all be so lucky to live well into our 80's with the physical and mental capabilities to be independent and do the things we want to do, whatever they may be. He is lucky and he is ready and so he has decided that he doesn't want treatment and he wants to go home and die.
I think this is a good thing for him and I feel pretty at peace with that. Should I feel bad about that? I don't think so. I think it will still feel difficult and memories will bring tears as they are apt to do but even from a family being left behind point of view, at least we are all aware and can do what ever it is that we each need to do to come to peace with it. So, there you have it - my small and personal update and thoughts on death. We're all going to die and the people around us that we love are all going to die. Life is beautiful and wonderful and we should cherish it and do the things and be the people that we want to be because this is it folks. I think that it is important to live our lives and love the people that we love because really we only get a very short time and hopefully we all live long dynamic lives full of friends, family, love, adventure ('cause what is life without some good stories), beauty, and fun dammit - we all need more fun in our lives : ) The rain drips down slicing through the fumes of humanity, trees sway in sweet scent and outside the window sloshing through gumboots of frail hope and care - dance in dreamy cascading cleansing ...