Wednesday, January 21, 2009

From The Jar... #30

And the Jar says...

How do you feel about death? Tell about your philosophy of after-life.

Hmmm.... not the easiest pick to be starting at midnight, but I'm going for it.

{WARNING: Macabre content in this post. Read at your own risk. I considered editing parts, but this is for me. I want to remember this.}

I believe that after this life we have the opportunity to be reunited with loved ones. I believe I will carry with me everything I've learned in this life and that I will have the opportunity to continue growing and learning. I believe in resurrection and eternal families.

I am not afraid of death. The dying part could be another story, but we'll cross that bridge when it comes. That being said, I am terribly afraid of death around me. I have always had a terrible fear of cemeteries. As an adult, I'm more or less over that one, but as a child I would hide my face if we even drove by a cemetery. I was terribly disturbed by them and I don't know why.

Dead bodies hold a very deep rooted fear for me. I remember being at a funeral when I was about 14 years old. It was for my sister's then-boyfriend's brother, Roman, who was killed in an avalanche. I watched person after person go to his casket and hold his hand, stroke his face, or touch him in some manner. I was absolutely mortified. I didn't understand it and, frankly, I still don't.

My grandma passed away almost three years ago. We tried to get there in time to say goodbye, but she passed just before we arrived. The grief in the room was tangible, and I watched my mom and dad go and kiss her and touch her face and stroke her hair while they cried. I stood against the wall with my arms folded. My mom said to me, "Do you want to hold her hand or anything? She's still warm...?" I felt like my eyes bulged at the suggestion. I shook my head vehemently and stayed put. In a few minutes I walked over to her thinking maybe I could do it. I even reached my hand out, but in the end, all I could do was look and cry.

For a long time after that, I couldn't even walk past that room without wishing I could run. I love my grandma so dearly and I was deeply and mortally terrified all the same. When I would go in the room, I would avoid even looking at the side of the bed where she laid. But I could feel it. I don't know what I feel, but I feel something. Even now, when I sit on her bed (which belongs to someone else now) I think about her laying there so still.

It isn't just people. I remember when our great dog, Fergus, died and my little sister sat there petting him long after. I did reach out and touch his shoulder and I recoiled as if burned. I couldn't stand the emptiness. I was terrified.

Not exactly a ray of sunshine either, was it? I am being nice though and that's all I promised. This was an interesting subject to explore for me. It brought to mind many things that I'll mull over. I don't think I'll post them, but I'm glad I got to look at this fear of mine.


Elena said...

Yep, yep, yep, I'm exaclty the same way. I DON'T do dead things. (Human or animal.) Not at all. I can touch them up until the minute of death, then no more. Doesn't matter how much I loved them. My mom is the same way and we have both told each other and understand completely that we won't be able to dress or do the hair of anyone we love. No offense, just can't do it.

Connie said...

I don't do well with that part of death either. I just can't hold the person's hand or kiss them. It is so odd to me. But I guess that is only true if it's someone close to me. The strange thing is, as a nurse, I can handle that part of death much more easily. Luckily I haven't had to deal with it much; but when I have encountered it at work I handled it fine. It was just part of the day. Maybe that sounds cold but I think that's how I had to look at it to make it through.

Brecca said...

I also have a fear of death. Not so much the lifeless body- but because we will miss them until we are reunited in the afterlife. Saturday my brothers friend died and yesterday my boss had her dad pass away. These both hit too close to home and although I moan with them and for their loss, it causes me to hold my little family closer to me because we never know when our own time is. Death reminds me to never forget what we have and to be grateful for all our wonderful blessings.

Polly said...

I remember the first funeral we went to, our parents encouraged us to look at and touch the body ... they talked to us about how different it was now without the spirit inside, and that the spirit was free and only the body was left behind. I fear the emotional emptiness that we feel here without them, but not the emptiness of their body. Maybe it goes back to your 'cell' post. That it is cells and matter to house a spirit.
Thanks for sharing and making me think.

Kristin said...

I didn't cry, but I'm going to. I'm going to write on this one on my blog too. I think it can be cleansing. Thanks for sharing.