On Death and Dying
2016 was a difficult year… lots of people, things, philosophies and dreams passed into the night. That’s a euphemism for death by the way. It’s very comforting to call something by a flowery name, and helps us ease the pain of a loved one’s passing.
In my own sphere of family, friends and clients, 2016 was also a year marked by illness, tragedy and yes… death. It has made me think about what death means and how I feel about it. The dreaded reality of mortality has crept into my soul like a nagging boll weevil attacking a cotton field, and has demanded reflection.
I, for one, have never truly feared death. It’s simply a phase or a stage that every living thing on the planet goes through. I don’t embrace it, and I certainly don’t seek it out, but I accept that it’s gonna happen someday. No… I’m not a fatalist… simply a realist.
Perhaps it’s my own, frequently warped, mind that embraces the following concept and keeps me unconcerned about the overall state of my physical body. I tend to believe that we are all energy beings when you strip away the physical. That’s not a Woo-Woo, New Age, go-get-your-crystal-ready type belief, simply an acknowledgement that a rock has basically the same atomic components as a human. There is some type of energy inside that makes me different than a tree, or a rock, and it has to be some form of energy. Maybe even divine energy… I really have no idea.
If I can accept that it’s energy, and I accept the physical Law of Conversation of Energy, than does a person ever really die? Maybe he/she goes to heaven or nirvana or some other wondrous magical place. Maybe Elvis is jamming with Buddha on base, Gandhi on guitar and Jesus on percussion. Hopefully they invite Muhammed; I think he has been given a bum rap because of a small percentage of his fans. It’s a nice image if you think about it for a second.
My personal preference is the belief that who I am, and who I’ve been, goes into the hearts and minds of those that have known me. My energy, such as it is, split into a thousand points of light and frankly probably as many points of darkness. I’m human after all… nobody is good all the time.
Perhaps those that we have touched with caring and consideration will pass our memories on to the next generation, and the next and the next. Each time our energy going wider but thinner until we eventually fade out of existence. But that’s a long way in the future. For now, I comfort myself with the knowledge that although I’ve done some bad, I’ve also done quite a bit of good.
I’m supposed to put some type of catchy link, referring this blog post that to one of my novels, but at the end of the day I’m just going to hope this post offered comfort to those souls that are struggling with loss right now, or in the future. With any luck, you’ll consider this a virtual hug of sorts. Y’all know where my books live, you don’t need me to remind you every day.