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Monday, June 11, 2012

What it feels like to die

Life is fragile. At least life as we know it is fragile. I feel fine now. I hope to have a very long life ahead of me. Years. Many years. Decades. But I am aware that it could all be gone in ten minutes. Before I finish writing this piece I could have a heart attack. A robber could come in my house and kill me. I could go for my afternoon walk and get hit by lightening. It could happen at any time.
My grandfather was seemingly fine when he went out of his variety store in 1975 to go out to his car. Ten minutes later my grandmother found him dead of a heart attack. Such is life. And death.

 Recently, a friend of mine, one I didn't know well and only knew casually on Facebook died suddenly. She was only 23. She had a very dangerous job (a fireman) and she lived life to the fullest on top of that. She admitted to me that she was an adrenaline junkie. You always got a sense that she knew she was going to die very young. She had a sense it could happen any time and that it was imminent.
Sadly, of all the crazy things that she did, and in spite of her dangerous job, she died in a traffic accident helping out a stranger. That was her way and probably a fitting, although sad, way to go for her.

 I could be dead in minutes.  I could. Really,  I could.  Don't you wonder what it would be like to be dead? I do. As I watch old people, I see it. They know time is running out. They feel it. It is on their mind. It would be on my mind.

 Do I have a death wish? No. I have a death curiosity.
My grandfather died in 1975. He never got to see the Internet. Could he have imagined it? Probably not. I didn't before it arrived. I want to see all the great things that are going to happen in the next 40 or 50 years. I know it won't compare to the wonder of what the afterlife is going to be like.  That is going to last for eternity, whatever eternity means in the grand scheme of things.
My mother died in 2010. Would she have imagined what was to come in the next 10 years that she will never get to see? No. I don't know what is coming either. But I hope to get to see it.

 Are we the people we are now when we are in the afterlife? I have no idea, but I suspect not. I am curious to find out when the time comes. There is some anticipation there. It is one of those things that you want to know but wont find out until the time comes. I am assuming that you get to find out. I don't know either way.

There are 7 billion people on this earth. That means there are roughly 20 billion or so who have died over time. Come and gone. As well, Trillions of animals come and gone. That is a lot of souls to inhabit wherever it is we go when we go where we go. Is that significant? I have no clue. I don't even know what significant means in an afterlife. We can only relate it on human terms in this life, which might not even be something we can relate to at all.
Are we the same sort of soul we were on earth when we depart for elsewhere? Can we even comprehend what that means? What the difference is? I don't think we can. We are human. We are bound to think of the afterlife in terms of human terms. What if we get to the point where we go and then come back,  as ourselves, only changed by our experiences? What would that be like? Maybe that happens and those that have come back just never talk about it, for whatever reason they choose to keep it secret.
When you die, you aren't you anymore. At least not the you that you perceive you to be when you perceive who you think you are. You become something else, something most all of us can't comprehend.
I am not looking forward to dying, but I am curious to think what that will be like.

1 comment:

  1. I hadn't thought much about death until my mother was diagnosed with cancer and passed away several years ago. She was young and healthy and planning all of the things she wanted to do when she retired. She was only 58 when she died. Since then my outlook has totally changed. I think about death more often, but not in a negative way. It has made me appreciate each day more than I did before. I am more likely to let things go that used to upset me. I try never to take a single day for granted.


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