Monday, May 14, 2007

On Death and Dying

Went to the church yesterday in a huff hoping that something there would help me let go of my cranky attitude problem. It did - there was a great musician there who really touched me. Charlie Thweat was visiting my church and sang with us all morning - it was amazing. I felt like he was singing right to me - it helped that Reverend Lisa was sitting right in front of me, so he was truly often looking in my general direction.

One of the songs he sang begins with the line "I will die someday" and he prefaced the song by saying, "this might freak you out." That gets me thinking about death and dying. Mom told me grandmother had gotten really upset one day when someone said how they would miss her - she cried because she wasn't yet ready to die. My friend who's father has cancer can't even broach the idea that he might pass - it seems the whole family just ignores that possibility.

I'm not sure why, but it seems I've always had a certain level of comfort with the idea of dying. When I was whale watching in the Indian Ocean, I had this weird and strong feeling that whales were coming for me - I got all fuzzy headed and knew I was going to jump into the ocean and leave with them. Thank goodness no whales got close enough to motivate that behavior. Later when I got sick I grieved more for the changes to my life than the thought that I might die...and I was terrified of what it would do to my mother. Especially now that dad is gone, I fear that she couldn't handle me passing.

Maybe when I am near death again, I'll be more afraid of it. Maybe when I have a life with more ease, I'll be resentful of giving it up. I know that when I have children, I'll want to live forever to protect them and watch them grow. But for now, I'm comfortable being comfortable with it and maybe that's my gift.

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