Preparing for Death

No, I’m not even close to dying yet. But preparations need to be made anyway. I have been putting off something as simple as a Living Will. Because if I actually do it, then I’m acknowledging my own mortality. My partner and I have talked about preparing, but neither of us has done anything about it. There are so many things to think about besides the Living Will. There is all the minutiae such as web sites and passwords. I am all over social media; he isn’t and doesn’t have a clue about Facebook and Twitter and Klout and all those other sites I’m part of. There are family and friends to notify. Dogs to take care of. The mortgage on the house. The car. Memberships in things like Amazon and Goodreads. So much to do.

Life can be gone in a heartbeat. It could be a car crash; a flash of lightning; a sudden heart attack; a ruptured aneurysm. Life is fraught with danger. But if I don’t prepare, then I won’t be ready, and I won’t die. Magical thinking I know. But I have no other reason for putting off what I know needs to be done. And there is so much to think about like cleaning out files so the survivor doesn’t have to do it. Deciding who gets what possessions. Going through the picture album and writing down who is in the pictures so that future generations don’t have to guess. So much to do.

I need to go make a list…

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Funerals

I was watching a TV show the other night where one of the characters went to a relative’s funeral and was the only one who showed up. I remember thinking how sad that was. Evidently the relative was a bitter, angry, nasty, person and had alienated the rest of the family. And that got me thinking. (Don’t you just love it when a word, a phrase, a TV episode, triggers a blog post?)

I sometimes wonder what life will be like without me in it. I know the world won’t stop. There is just so much I still want to do, so I have no intention of dying any time soon, but I’m curious about what it will be like. Will my dogs miss me (assuming I die before they do)? Will my partner find someone else? And how long will my spirit hang around? Will anyone know I’m there?

I don’t think I’m afraid of dying. I am afraid of what I’ll miss. Is that the same thing? I think I’m more curious than afraid.

Funerals are for the living to celebrate the life of the one who died. I know they can be sad occasions, but I think they should be celebrations. A time to remember. And as long as someone remembers the dead, they are not truly dead.

Until my death arrives, I think I’ll hang around and live the best life I can.

Cancer sucks

I know, that’s kinda stating the obvious. But cancer really does suck. It sucks the life out of people who have it and out of their families and friends. Those who survive the sometimes brutal treatments will never be the same; those who don’t survive have families and friends that will have a hole in their lives as long as they live.

A beautiful soul died yesterday after a long fight with cancer. There comes a time when fighting becomes too much. I never met Jane in person but knew her through an online community. She had wit, humor, and compassion and left behind a devastated husband and soulmate. Her friends speak lovingly of her, and I know she has left a hole in their hearts.

R.I.P. Lady Jane

Death

Recently, several people I know have had someone close to them die. It is never easy to deal with the death of a loved one. I don’t believe that those who die are ever really gone as long as there is someone who remembers them.

I don’t see death as an ending but a beginning. Not in the sense of an ‘afterlife’ perhaps, but in the sense that the soul lives on. I agree with certain Native American cultures that believe the soul has many lives, and the soul chooses the life it will live, knowing full well what will happen to it in that life. However, at the moment of birth, that foreknowledge disappears. We may have glimpses of what we were told, intuition, deja vu, call it what you will. When someone close to me dies, after the grief has spent its first storm, I start to wonder what that person’s next life will be like; will I meet that person again and will I know who he or she is? Have you ever met someone who ‘clicks with you right away? Who makes you feel you have known each other for ever? Maybe you have.
Death is all around us. Anyone who enjoys Nature knows that. Everything dies eventually, even mountains. But when plants die, they leave behind something of themselves, seeds, to live again. When a tree dies, it has left behind children that are probably already growing somewhere from seeds scattered by birds, the wind, other animals. When a mountain dies, it is washed to the sea and reborn as sand on some foreign shore perhaps. It is a never-ending cycle.

The soul is only in this earthly body for a short time. And when we die, our soul doesn’t die, just the body, the shell, that is no longer inhabited by the soul. So do animals have souls? I believe they do. Can you look into the eyes of a dog and tell me there is no soul there? If the Creator made everything before she made human beings, who is to say that plants and animals aren’t imbued with some sort of soul. It may not be a soul like we have; it may be something different; but nevertheless, it is still like the soul in that it is a living essence, an indescribable something.

We can die at any time; we won’t know where or when or how. We can lose someone we love at any time and not know where, when, or how.  Life is short, for all of us. Eulogies are beautiful things; but how about letting the people we love know that we love them now; after they’re dead is too late. And we can take comfort in the fact that the soul never dies.


Death is at once
The end of the body’s
Old journey
And the beginning of the soul‘s
New journey.
~~~~
Death is not the end.
Death can never be the end.
Death is the road.
Life is the traveller.
The soul is the guide.