Death.At times, even recent times
, I have been petrified by this five-letter word. It carries with it something that we cannot understand. There are things about death that we all can readily comprehend. The fact that we will all experience this five-letter noun at some point in our lives becomes clear to us shortly after we are confronted with its varying emotional, psychological, and physical effects.
There are a variety of views as to what death is
and what happens to those who have experienced it. An afterlife, another life (perhaps in a different form), nothing at all and everything in between are some of the more widely held perspectives as to the great mystery that is death.Today I can punch this blog entry out
and say with a degree of confidence that I am not afraid of death. Who knows what tomorrow may bring. Since a young age I have thought about life and death. No, I was not a morbid nor morose young child, middle child, or older child. I was, as I am now, extremely in tune with the brevity of our stay in these bodily houses. I think the thing that is probably the hardest
for me is thinking of how I will cope with the death of those closest to me. I can deal with my own death, its other peoples that cripple me. My mom, dad, sister, brother and a large number of close friends are some of those whom I am not sure I can live without. If I had to create a list of what I valued most in life relationships would be my first entry. People and what they have to say is extremely important to me. The small, minuet details of their day in and day out lives are my manna, my bread of life. Take away my bread and I'm afraid I might starve.In all of this I think of how little we
(Americans) actually talk about death in a constructive and critical way. I have found that we tend to ignore it, trivialize it, or create a fantastic story to help explain it away. What we don’t do is actually live with death. If you saw Road To Perdition
you might remember a scene
in which someone has died and in the wake of his death there is this huge celebration filled with drinking
, and remembering
. I understand that this scene can be interpreted in a variety of ways (one being that the whole wake was nothing but an excuse for family and friends to not deal with the death of a loved one but instead get drunk in an attempt to drown out the rawness of the pain they were truly feeling), I am going to choose to use this scene as an example of how a life (and the death that proceeds it) can be celebrated, mourned, and at the same time keep the awe (and mystery) of death alive.Can we love the life we live
; fully, deeply, passionately
, while at the same time keeping the mystery of death in tact? I believe we can and I intend to live a life that points me in that direction. In the direction of mystery, of awe, of the grey that hides itself quietly between the glaring black and white most of the waking world chooses to live within.