The following and all of the other episodes to come are snapshots of what goes on in my head, now and in the past. There are times none of this will make sense. There will be times when I might get lucky and the blog I post will be well constructed and will flow like a mountain stream to an awaiting lake below. Other times it will seem like the ramblings of a madman and you’ll ask yourself, “What the……?”
You should probably get use to the latter.
EPISODE TWENTY EIGHT: Less Hellos, More Goodbyes
The first funeral I went to was for my grandfather, the father of my mom. I’m going to be completely honest here, when he was alive, he scared me. My mom’s mom was sweet and kind but him….he scared me senseless. He yelled at me once for feeding his chickens. I may have crossed the line on how much I was feeding them but he yelled at me. Screamed…at me.
OK. Back to the funeral.
I had never seen someone dead before. I understood that he was gone even though he was lying right there. I understood that he was dead. The funny thing was, he scared me more when he was alive than being dead in a coffin. Also, to be honest, we had not seen much of each other before that and he had passed on when I was around five or six or seven.
Since then, I have been to a few more funerals, the last one being my mom, the hardest one yet. That one woke me up. That one made me think more about the time we have on this Earth. For some of us, we get to live full lives. For others, they are cut short, from our own stupidity or someone else. Or…..for no reason at all. It was just time.
The thing I use to be scared of most of all was centipedes and millipedes. Just thinking about them makes me…..cringe.
Now….what scares me the most is good old, regular old death. You know…passing over, the big finish, curtains, the final release, lights out, end of the line…and on and on.
Most kids don’t really think about death happening to them. Unless somebody really close dies, kids never really think it will happen to their own self. I wasn’t like that. If you remember in an earlier blog post, I talk about being in my sister’s room, looking at a poster of Elvis in her room and crying. I was scared to go to sleep that night because I was afraid I wouldn’t wake up in the morning. (Guess what? I did.)
I blame that on a very active imagination. As Lady Gaga said, I was born this way.
Death comes for us all. And when it comes down to it, you have no real control over when it’s your turn to kick the bucket. Yes, you can eat right, exercise, not smoke, limit your vices and do good things to help your karma but that might help a little. Doing all of that won’t stop the dump truck for speeding, the brakes going out and crushing you and your car into a concert divide. Or the jerk that decides to rob you at gunpoint and even though you do as he says, decides to put a bullet between your eyes. Or a hundred of other ways that I don’t want to discuss because it will depress me worse.
When our time comes, it comes. No if’s, and’s or but’s. Here it is, there you go. Done.
I understand all of this. I think about it all of the time. I wonder how it’s going to be. Will I luck out and pass on in my sleep at the ripe old age of one hundred and two surrounded by my love ones as they tell me good-bye or will it be messy, like, dump truck messy.
There was guy I use to work with for over ten years. After I left that job and a few years down the road, I heard he had got cancer. He fought but it won in the end. I had told a friend that we reached the age when there are less hellos and more goodbyes, something like that. I’m sure I had heard that somewhere but it’s true. After a certain age, we start to say goodbye more. People get older, they pass. People get horribly sick, they pass.
I’ve noticed something else as I’ve got older. When I get sick, I stay sick longer. And when I do get sick, I think, is this it? I’m only forty-four but this sickness, is this what gets me? I usually take some meds and try to not think about it. Try being the important word.
So, what do I do? Here is a fact of life (you take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have….) that I will die someday. I will leave people behind that will mourn me (I hope, let’s be honest) and what I have done on this planet will be forgotten in the years to come.
Now that I think about it, here’s what scares me the most about death:
1. Will it hurt?
2. What’s after this life? Anything? Nothing?
3. What will I be leaving behind?
If I can figure out those things, maybe the idea of dying won’t be so bad.
I really hope that when I do take that last gasp, there will be a sudden feeling of floating into the air. I will look back at myself, whether my body is in a warm bed or splashed up on an overpass and know that the pain is over. I’ll fly into whatever Heaven is and meet the Big Man and his son and see all those that went before me. I’ll get to hug my mom again and tell her how much I missed her. I’ll get to meet Charlie Chaplin and Robin Williams and tell them how much of an inspiration they were to me and I’ll get to see the pets I once knew and loved and they remember me and missed me.
And I’ll find a nice spot and wait with all of them. I’ll wait for those that I left behind so I can hug them when they get there.
Death scares me. I know it’s coming but it still scares me. Guess I’ll need to find some positive stuff to do until then. Maybe the impact I leave here will last a long time.
But I’m still going to avoid dump trucks on interstates so it doesn’t leave an impact on me…
Sept. 9th 2016
I’ve decided to keep a blog about how I’m dealing with depression. I’m going to consider this a form of therapy. It might not help anybody else but it might help me.