Do you fear death?

I don’t mean the accidental kind which you don’t have time to fear, because if you did fear it, then you’d fear it all the time and you’d go bat-shit, right?

No, I mean the everyday run-of-the-mill Grim Reaper kinda death where you know it’s coming.

I like to watch the National Geographics channel, and a couple of nights ago they had a program called Taboo and the subject was different funereal practices in different areas of the world, and of course they did ours, showing everything they do to get a body ready in the funeral home (I guess they still call it that), and a voice inside my head was telling me, “Quasi, I don’t think you need to be watchin’ that shit, sonny-boy!”

But I didn’t get up to turn the channel. Just couldn’t do it. “Morbid Curiosity”, right?

So anyway, then they went to China, Europe, Africa …India, and they wound up in a little bitty out of the way place where there was a tribe that eats the dead.

Well, by this time that little voice had risen to F. Lee Ermey volume, but I just had to see this…

Well, long story short, they throw a party before they um, eat. They drink what looks like white liquor straight from the bottle, smoke what looks like a big ol’ white turd (ganja I reckon), and explain that when they eat a person they become a part of the person doing the eatin’.

So being Quasi, I asked the screen, “Well what happens when you have to take a shit? You gonna eat that too, you sick motherfucker?”

Okay a little gallows (okay, gross) humor, to tell you, that yes, I’m scared (to death) of dying.

I think about it a lot. I know that’s not good for me, but I can’t help it.

I wouldn’t hesitate to take a bullet for another person if I had to, but laying there, wondering “how much longer?”, is just terrifying as hell to me.

Those of you who have known me a few years, know that I was diagnosed with dementia a year ago (but we kinda think it started way before that) and I’ve blogged about it, joked about it (with y’all, so please don’t stop. I need the laughter) and read about it. Read too much about it, I reckon, and I ask myself this: “Bill, what would have happened had you not looked up those signs and symptoms, and just continued on with your life? Wouldn’t you be better off NOT knowing, rather than waiting for the Reaper Dude, who takes your mind and THEN your body?”

Y’all, I don’t know!!! I can’t answer that! I just don’t know.

What I do know is I was hurting a lot of people along with myself, so I let myself be medicated so I’d feel better and act better.

Only thing is, I’m a fairly intelligent guy, and although I walk around with a smile and a joke, I know it’s coming. Someday. Don’t know when, just someday.

So now’s the time for “the live each day as it comes” guy (my shrink) “and don’t worry about it. You may not die for a long, long time. Oh! Look where the time’s gone! See you next month. Need anything?”

Doc, you ain’t got enough “happy pills” to get this feeling outa me.

Two years ago, my then-ex brother in law was diagnosed with leukemia and two weeks later, he was gone. Two fucking weeks was all he had to “get your affairs in order”. Don’t you HATE that phrase? Doesn’t that sound just so cold to you? Does to me.

Anyway, I went to see him, this strong, stoic “star of the family” (he played minor league baseball for the Braves, but to us he was our hero), and I sat with him and we talked baseball, the Braves, fishin’. All that stuff he liked to do, but I never did much of, except in mid high-school and I hated every minute of it. I wanted me some pussy! (Sorry. Quasi again).

So as I sat there beside him, listening to him talk and nodding my head and smiling, you know what I was thinking?

Dude!!! WHAT is going through your mind right now!!! How in the FUCK can you just lie there like that? Tell me SOMETHING to help ME get ready!!!, and I hated myself for being so selfish. This was his time not mine. And a couple of days later he was gone.

Oh, I know. They put him on a damn morphine drip and he just drifted away.

But here’s the thing: I hate the thought of that happening to me. I hate it right this minute, and I don’t have fucking Leukemia.

Wouldn’t it be great if all those “white light” people were right about all that shit? I mean, 100% USDA APPROVED KEEEE-REKT (amundo)?

So I get told I’m “brave” for writing about all of this, and I say “thanks”, but inside I’m screaming "Yoouuuuu Don’t Fuckin’ Know A Thing, Man!"

I’m the soldier dropping his rifle and, in the words of Mark Twain, skedaddlin’ away from the “battle” we are ALL fighting, and I’m so scared sometimes my knees are knockin so bad I look like I’m doin’ the Funky Chicken!

God, yes, I’d like to know. Not when it’s coming or that it’s coming. Just what it FEELS like and what can I do to get ready for it? Can’t someone “come back” and tell me? All that crazy shit!!!

So, did I really just write all of that, to answer “Yes. Yes I sure am.”

Are you?

That’s why I’m glad there’s you guys. I know there might be a day when I won’t know who y’all are, but till then, won’t we have us a “Hot time on the ol’ screen tonight!!!:)”

Got kinda “long-winded”, as they say here in the south, but there’s a lot I needed to say, and I know I can always say it here.

I’m off to Azeroth. I got some real good friends there. And you know what?

In Azeroth, when you die?

You can run like a sumbitch, find your body, resurrect it (careful, might be a bad guy waitin’) and live to fight another day!

Love you guys:)

Bill

Is the title supposed to be ‘Fear’?

I’m not to crazy about dying. Seems counterproductive. Besides, there’s still a few hundred years of experiences and knowledge I want to gain.

Someone said, ‘You didn’t worry about being alive before you were born. Why worry about what happens after you die?’ Or something like that.

No, John. It’s supposed to be “r”.:slight_smile: Damn, I can’t believe I even went back to preview and still missed that. Can someone fix that, for me?:smack:

Thanks, and John?

Thanks!

Q

I think about it sometimes. The only thing that gives me a tinge of fear is when I wonder what it will be like to go through the veil, as it were; like you said, that final moment. So, I’m not afraid of being dead so much as I am … apprehensive about that final step through the door.

In the abstract, I don’t fear death. I admit I’d be afraid of a painful process leading up to it, but the actual state of death itself doesn’t bother me.

I believe the Greek philosopher Epicurus had the proper view on the subject:

I’m not afraid of getting into a car accident, catching some disease or anything like that.

Getting older terrifies me, though. I remember when I was 16, telling myself “well, you’re not even 20 yet. Not even an adult yet.” Now that I’m 20 I’m telling myself “you’re not even half-way through life yet.” When I’m 30 I’ll be telling myself “you’re only half-way through life.” When I’m 50 I’ll be telling myself “you’re basically guaranteed another 10 years.” When I’m sixty or seventy I’ll be saying “I think I’ve got one more year.”

Yes, I’ve really thought about all this. The idea of not existing terrifies me. But I’m dealing with it.

I’ve heard this too, and it’s a comfort.

I don’t fear it. I’m 65 and I’ve had a nice life, good kids, read a lot of good books, had some fun, made good friends.

But maybe I’m a bit like Quasi in that I worry about how my family will get along without me, especially my daughter. When her grandma and uncle died (within six months of each other), she was in mourning for about two years – just put her life on hold and let everything go. Two years wasted.

If she comes here after I’m gone (I’ve asked her to do that), ya’ll be nice to her, okay? Tell her I said I love her and everything’s gonna be okay and that I’m fine – we all have to go through it. And tell her not to spend too much time being sad.

I would look it up, but meh. I think it was either Richard Dawkins or James Randi.

To be honest? No. I grew up between Three Mile Island and NYC, towards the middle of the Cold War. We did duck and cover drills. We knew that if the missiles launched, we weren’t going to be a target, we’d just be dead anyhow from fallout. Slowly and painfully.
I worked in the middle of Manhattan, taking insane risks crossing the streets for the sake of my job. I once crossed Fifth Avenue against the light in heavy traffic while carrying a 45 pound server case over my head. Still don’t know how I did it.
9/11 was bad, but it just confirmed the way I feel about things. It doesn’t matter if you live or die, as long as you do the right thing when called on.

It’s not about how you die. It’s about how you live. I knew the nukes were coming. I didn’t know when, but I grew up knowing they would fly someday.

It’s not about spitting in the Grim Reaper’s eyes. He’s just doing his job. He’s not an enemy, he’s not a friend. He’s just there.

In some ways, yes, I fear death. I am an atheist, and this is all I’ve got, this life with the experiences I’ve had. There is no afterlife, just as there was no pre-life. Just me, here now, hopefully having fun for as long as possible.

What I fear is leaving my beloved wife alone. That thought fills me with dread, and I can only hope I assume room temperature when we are both really old, or soon so she can find another man and move on with a fulfilling life. I do not want her to suffer for me. So, better me first, or her? Strange things to think about.

I am a bit fatalistic about it all as I cannot predict any aspect of my own end. When it happens, it happens, painful or messy, whatever. I wonder if it is better if it is sudden and I just cease to exist before I can process the event, or slow, when the doctor says you don’t have long. Not sure on that, there are benefits to both.

I don’t fear death. I’m kind of fascinated with its inevitability.

But then, neither do I welcome it. I sure don’t want it to happen any time soon, and presumably I’ll continue to not want it for a long time yet.

I do wish I had a brief period post-death of being aware of it, so I can see what the lead up was and what the after effects are. But I am also confident that won’t be happening.

I don’t fear it, but I’m not so keen on the whole dying part.

As long as I die quick and painlessly I don’t fear dying at all. Thinking about how sad my wife and family will feel is the only thing I would be sad about.

On January 19 I got into a car accident. After the collision and both of us spinning off to the side of the road, when it was all over I realized I couldn’t breath. I was scared because I didn’t want to die from suffocating to death so I forced myself to breath until finally I could. But I clearly remember that it wasn’t dying that scared me, it was more “I don’t want to die like this!” When I told my mother about it she said I probably wouldn’t have died anyway, and who knows, but at the time it sure felt like I might.

To me it really bugs me that I won’t be around to see what will happen. I know the world existed for millions of years before I came into it. It’s hard to think of yourself as just a bunch of cells and atoms and quarks and such that were parts of a big bang.

I want to live forever and see what is going to happen. When I think about things like this it gives me the shivers. Brrrrr

… if this shitty disease stays the course, loosely speaking, I get to die twice, don’t I?

Shit, I’ve looked at it from every angle, through a beer glass, through tears, and it all comes out the same every time: I don’t wanna go, and I don’t want anyone to leave me. Now how fucked up is that.

This is a 60-year old “tough-guy” talkin’ to youse!

If my spit’n polish military Dad were still alive… aww shit. He’s probably spinning in his coffin as we speak.

Thanks for sharing with me, though. That’s pretty cool!:wink:

Hey. I just had a thought: What if I left and Quasi stayed here? What if you had to choose between the two of us? :slight_smile:

Shit, we ain’t never been shitsofrantic, but I do enjoy when that other part of me comes out.:slight_smile: Y’all ever notice that? I’ve always wanted to ask that just right out and ask you what you thought, if anything, of me doing that?

So I wanted this to be a poll, but didn’t see that option when I started the thread

Ah, god. They say this is cathartic. Maybe it is - it’s made me feel better whenever I’ve been able to talk to you.

Thank you. I mean it.

Bill

Looking forward to it? No. But afraid? Well, as others have mentioned, I too came to the realization that birth must be a horrible, terrible thing for a child - or have you ever heard of a child laughing as it exited the womb?
We cry being born, so I guess it is only fair we cry as we die - fear of the unknown. But after the original shock of birth, I think things pick up and it is all we know, and thus cherish life.
I don’t believe in the Pearly Gates or some dude with a long white beard asking why I farted in church when I was ten; but I do think there might be some sort of collective consciousness upon death; perhaps a new dimension of some sort?

Far worse is having someone you love die and the grief and misery and sadness that comes with that.

But my own death? Well, I would hope it happens in my sleep as I really don’t wanna be that guy whose last words were “oh fuck…” as I absentmindedly turn into the exit ramp on a freeway and see a cement truck, or lean against the rusty railing on a cliff, or whatever.

Plus, everything I have ever read about near-death experiences seems to indicate it is half as terrifying when it happens than one might fear in advance. Who knows, maybe our first reaction after we die is that we actually do laugh.

I am not afraid of death. I am, however, afraid of dying. Whatever happens after happens after and I am not worried about that but the process of dying seems really unpleasant and I am not looking forward to that.

I’m not afraid for *myself *as much as I am for all of you, who will indubitably blink out of existence at the same moment I do. :wink:

That’s my SFG whut said dat! First smile I’ve had all day! :slight_smile:

Q

I will. If I remember, because that’s going to be a long time from now.

I thought I was going to die one time, and the only thing that bothered me was that I was in the middle of a lot of things that needed finishing. I hope when I get finished with everything, I’ll know it and won’t be afraid.

I hear you, Bill, and I love you too.

  • Julia