Death and Death and Death

There’s a lot of dying going around.  Famous celebrities shooting up too much heroin.  Fathers of our friends passing away on trips to Peru.  Our actual friends having cardiac arrests in the gym.  It’s senseless.  

If I was a betting woman I’d say this dying this is contagious.

I’m afraid of death.  The idea of this measly little life I have being OVER – it can’t be true.  I haven’t gone to Africa.  I never got published.  I am not blissfully happy, goddamnit.  And yet, around ever corner, I tiptoe carefully – sure that Mr. Reaper is waiting to snatch me from the shadows.  

What will I regret when I’m dead?  What will I be grateful for?

Last night I had a party to go to and I didn’t go.  Instead, I watched Austenland in bed with a bowl of M&M’s.  The light was off by 9.  Will I regret that?  Will I regret not being more social, more effervescent, more sparkly and superb?  Probably.  And what about the M&M’s?  Or watching a movie alone while Sam went out without me?  Or going to sleep at 9 instead of staying up and working on my opus?  Maybe, probably, I don’t know.

The point is, I spend much of my waking days thinking about death.  Thinking about what I should be doing so I don’t regret it when I’m dead.  And thinking some more about life and how short “it” is.  This transient state of consciousness trapped in a fragile little human shell.  And then I keep thinking about all of us here, scrambling about for fame and fortune and power – all these quicksilver lives.  These flashes in the pan.  All of us one dark corner away from crashing into death.

And then another day goes by and it looks pretty much the same for me as the day before.  It’s insane.  I’m insane.

But one thing I do know – when it comes to death, we all look the same.  

Good deeds, bad deeds, jewels, titles, money in the bank…

pictures in the paper, kids, dogs, smokers, drinkers, avaricious pursuits…

druggies, terrorists, rapists, environmentalists…

nurses, doctors, janitors, and black market organ salesmen…we all look the same to death.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Death and Death and Death

  1. Brenda Buchy

    I know that it seems like death is all around, we just experienced another death within our group of friends – the 3rd in less than 3 years – I wonder how much grief can one person or one group of people experience before it’s too much. But for me I choose to continue living, making memories, and remembering those lost. If i worry about death then I am not living and honoring those who aren’t here anymore. Death will come to us all someday and you can’t prevent that, but you can live each day as you want to live it. No one will remember if you went to this or that, but they will remember the joy that you bring to those around you and the other wonderful things that you shared with those you love. Remember that each day is a gift to you and for those you love, don’t worry when the gift will end, just make the most of the time you have with those you care for the most.

  2. Mary Collins

    all I can say is LIVE LIKE YOU WERE DYING (I think that will be my new credo)

  3. Virginia Gould

    Since childhood I have been acutely aware of the passage of time. When the concept of doomsday was put into words for me, it was like the amoebic boogeyman I had always known was there had been given a shape and a name. Like most things, it is a blessing and a curse. I know to treasure the moments, which is great, but I worry, worry. One thing I have learned, though, is to never bemoan a birthday. I hear people fret about turning 40 (or whatever age). So many people won’t make it to their next birthdays. So many didn’t make it to 40. Be happy for each day. Say “I love you.” Laugh whenever you can. All those things you read in the Desiderata … Be well, Sara.

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