I have been avoiding this post for some time now. I guess i just did not feel it right to write about someone who i know is going to read a post about themselves and it is about dying, but this is just too big of a topic in my life right now to ignore any longer. It is also something that is being discussed openly now between ourselves so i suppose it is time to talk about it here.
I always would ask, which would be worse, being like my grandma on my moms side who passed away earlier this year, having dementia and losing your memory but still healthy as a horse? (She would take long walks but often not know where she walked once she got there!), OR be like my great aunt on my dads side (and my dad just the same), to be sharp as a tack up until the very end but have the body TOTALLY break down in the process. So, is it better for your mind to go or your body to go??
I have gone back and forth with this over the years. I used to say that severe pain would impact the choice of body breaking but there is something to be said for having your wits till the end. It is a hard choice to make and thankfully, fate or the gods are the ones that decide that for each of us if we are lucky enough to grow old and die from it.
I know life is an ephemeral and fleeting and nothing lasts forever, so why are we so hard wired to not want those around us to ever leave us? We all know logically that we are only guaranteed 2 things in life. 1. We get a ticket to planet earth when we are born, and 2. we get a ticket home when its time to go. I like to see it as “vacation on planet earth”. Your vacation can go one of two ways… really good or really bad. It can be influenced by where you have to take your vacation but it does not make it a guarantee that you will have a fabulous or terrible vacation simply due to location. However, if you get chosen to “soul up” a body in Darfur, your chances of having a super fun and easy vacation are probably going to be hard to come by. But, that doesnt mean that you can not hopefully change the location and improve your trip. On the other hand, you could be “souled in” to a body of a multi-millionaire’s baby and be brought up with all of the luxuries that one could imagine and be isolated or treated so poorly that it does not matter because your vacation on planet earth is just one nightmare walking amongst priceless artifacts and long cold hallways. I think that is why happiness has much less to do with economics than it does with community.
Anyway, back to my original issue. The thing that is so tough right now is… well, several things… But, one of them is that there are questions that can only be answered by them and this is your last chance to ask them. What is it that i need to ask? Once they are gone, the information they hold in their brains goes too. You only have this chance to ask all of the questions that only this one person can answer. AND you can not think of the questions that should be asked. (i think this is one of Murphy’s laws (btw… who the heck is Murphy anyway?? Poor bastard must have had the most frustrating life!!).
The other thing that is so tough is letting the sick person see that you are effected by their sickness. I do not want to cry to their face because i am so gutted that i am losing one of the most important and influential people in my life. I want to appear strong so not to scare them. I do not want them to see how hard it is for me because i can only imagine how hard it is for them.
I feel like time is going in slow motion, yet it is blazing past me and with each minute that ticks by, is one less minute i am on earth with them.
I think it would be so much easier on our psyches if we knew what happened to us after passing. If you are religious, you probably automatically believe what you are told to believe. However, since we have other things that we experience here on earth that we have no explanation for that could possibly tie into our souls local’s upon vacating the body (such as remembering past lives, old souls and ghosts) that it adds a variable of the unknown and hope i think that something is in place for us. I do not think we are comforted by the thought that after dying our soul just evaporates and vanishes. How could something so strong as a soul which assisted our will to live while in life, and is invisible anyway, just disappear. I think (maybe just for convenience) we like to think that there is a place for our souls to go after this life. The not knowing is the tough part, but also i suppose the part that keeps us as simple people and not as the mighty “God” which i think in life, we forget sometimes.
I know i am not really making any specific point here, but i just need this to start the conversation that i have on loop in my head. My dad is dying. He is my best friend and probably the one single person that influenced who i have become more than anyone else so far in my life. We all know it and we are talking about it (which is very strange when it is with the person who is doing the dying!) I thought it would be more uncomfortable talking the hard real truth’s with him but now that we are here, it is not hard, it is just so scary and sad.
I know that this is just the natural cycle of life and that if it did not happen, then we would have something really to worry about! But it doesnt make it any easier at all. This is a game changer for me. It is usually for most of us even if we do not have a very good or any relationship with our parent.
In what way my life and personality will be affected is unknown to me at this point. In fact the impression will be so huge, i dare not even speculate, but i do know that it will change my life.
I suppose when we experience loss, in a way, the gods are clearing out our lives and throwing us out into the unfamiliar world again to start anew but with newly found or understood skills to make the next path taken with a slightly different approach or a different set of desires.
Usually when i find myself in these types of places of rebuilding after major loss, i have found that when it is time to get up and go after those things i want out of life, the wants and the things and the needs have changed. Always they have simplified and become much more basic of wants and needs. It allows you to appreciate all that you were unable to realize while spoiled and familiar with the past experiences.
I am not (obviously) not looking forward to the soon future without the protection and love and friendship of my dad, but i embrace who i will become and what he has taught me once he is gone. I am just so lucky and blessed to be able to have the time now to ask those last important things as well as getting some things sorted out and understood which will make our job after he goes a lot easier and a lot less stressful. For that i am eternally grateful!
Regardless, it sucks how much we miss the ones we love once they are gone! At least, hopefully for me, the pain will help to create new art. And i can say that it is because of my dad that i made it on this occasion!
I love you dad!!
- Living and Dying Revisited (newlife2design.wordpress.com)
- Chapter 1 of Don’t Fear the Reaper by Michelle Muto (creativedeeds.wordpress.com)
- Sudan: North Darfur Attack Kills 13 Civilians – Hold Attackers Accountable; Allow Peacekeepers Access (ionglobaltrends.com)
- Tony Nicklinson: my dad, my hero (guardian.co.uk)
- Spending some time with my Aunt – Reader Submitted Story (incestexperiences.wordpress.com)
- Death just can’t be politicised (smh.com.au)
- The Measure of a Man (wildandwickedcowboys.wordpress.com)
- Turning your pain into your GAIN! (ashleypoptodorova.com)
- Dementia deaths more than double in a decade (telegraph.co.uk)
- Caring For A Relative With Dementia (lifefoneblog.com)