Saturday, August 20, 2011

Something Taboo - Death

I wanted to write about something that most people seem to hate to talk about - Death. So many people are afraid to die, and based on their religious or spiritual beliefs, there are many reasons for this. So based on my beliefs I want to talk about it.

I must first warn against any religious conversations starting. Remember this is MY opinion and my beliefs. So please keep that in mind when reading through this blog post. And also, I am not anywhere near death it is just something I have been thinking about lately.

I am not scared at all to die. Rather, I am scared for those left behind.

When I pass away all my dreams, goals and desires will end. I will have no regrets as I won't know anything after the time my body takes its last breath. However, those left behind will feel the sorrow, the pain, the shattered hopes. They will know I didn't do what I wanted or that I never got to see things I wanted to. They will live with the regrets, if they do, not me.

My niece and nephew will remember me and the times we shared together, but will it be enough? Will they regret that I didn't live closer and spent more time with them? Will they be mad I passed away.

I like to think each and everyone of us goes to Heaven and can look down on those we left behind, but I don't think it is an actuality. I know that sounds crazy. Believing they are watching over relieves some of the pain. Believing I will see my grandparents, Maggie and friends after I pass is something that makes me smile. But I don't think that happens. If it did, then wouldn't I have regrets? Wouldn't I be sad watching over my niece and nephew, not being a part of their lives anymore? So while I like to think it does happen, I also don't want to think it does. Because then, my regrets can continue, my sadness over not being with my family long enough will be stronger, and I may continue that depression from earth into heaven.

So instead I think that when we die, we die. Maybe our souls float away and go somewhere that the rest of the souls are. But maybe we don't have any idea what or who we were. Maybe we are just a bunch of old souls hanging around, waiting to be placed in a new body. I have no idea. And now my post has gone totally off track lol.

So to end this little off course ramble...To me death is an end a total end for the deceased, while the survivors must carry on, remembering the good and bad of the deceased. Death is "easy" for the one who passes.....


  1. amy,

    i think it is awesome and really brave for you to openly write about something as tough and taboo as death. i'm so impressed by your honesty, courage and clarity.

    this may seem super random, but your post really reminded me of the "temporal asymmetry" that Lucretius discusses in his piece, "On Nature." we read it in my class on the ethical and legal issues at the end of life. in it, he talks about how we shouldn't fear death because we don't fear the time before birth and those pre- and post-life eternities are essentially completely the same.

    anyway, i thought you might want to check it out. i think it would really resonate with you and align with your beliefs about death. if you can't find it online, i can send you a PDF.

    thank you again for insightfully broaching such a difficult topic.

    sending hugs from philly,

  2. Thanks Emily :) I will have to check that piece out! I love reading things that make me think!!!

  3. honest, open, and thought-provoking blog post. it's always fascinating to exam WHY we choose to believe the things we do -- what our motivations might be or why we find comfort in a particular idea. as a pluralist i've always believed that religion is something deeply personal. i'm way less interested in what the "right" story is than i am in understanding and learning about what works for all my different, wonderfully diverse and intelligent friends.

    i think my views on life after death changed dramatically with transplant and just that whole period in my life leading up to it. i know some of it was simply me giving me mind what it needed at the time to get through things. that said, i still believe deeply in certain very spiritual things (including parts of the afterlife, though my idea of "heaven" is probably pretty far off of most christian perspectives). as a rational, very logical person i sometimes wonder at my deep beliefs in this are, but i think i've finally made peace with the idea that it helps me, that it doesn't need to be rational, and that i can believe fully without passing judgment on others b/c i really feel that God reveals him/her/itself differently to different people -- all of which is valid.

    anyway, a really long and rambling way to say something simple: thanks, amy! loved your post!

  4. Thanks Piper!

    Yes it really is all about what makes YOU feel good. Every persons feeling are obviously different so their beliefs and needs are too :)

  5. You're right. Death is easy for the person that dies. My aunt died almost a month ago and all I keep coming back to is she's free. We have the hard job.

  6. Good post Amy, I like that you talk about stuff everyone else is too scared to talk about. I have never been scared of dying itself but scared of HOW I will die, mainly if I am in pain. Like you, I would think it would affect my family bad. I've always tried to tell them if I go earlier than them, then not to morn me but to celebrate my life and continue to share organ donor awareness.