I always thought of blogs as being narcissistic, business related, or as my sister's, a way of keeping in touch or memorializing.

But, by necessity, I am learning a lot about myself. I find I need to get my thoughts out, and it helps me to know that someone else will read them. So I have created this little space for myself, to express the things I have trouble saying (be it emotional or physical trouble), to share what I'm going through, and what I'm learning through it.

I absolutely welcome comments. It's nice to know how people relate to what I'm saying.
To send me a private message, please e-mail me: flylittlewordsfly@gmail.com
Subscription links are at the bottom of the page

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Musings on Death and Fear

Two online friends, and one of my neighbours have all recently lost their fathers.

I fear losing mine. My biggest fear at the moment is losing one or both of my parents. My next biggest fears are losing other members of my close family. After that, I fear all kinds of health-related things.

Funnily, I realized today in therapy, that the one death that does not scare me is my grandmothers - and that is the most imminent. Perhaps because she has been so full of life for so long, or because I can see it coming, or because I really have truly made my peace with her. I know it will come, I know it will hurt, for a long while, and I know I will be ok in the long run. But I don't fear mourning her. Perhaps it is because the fear I feel for my parents, sister, son, niece, nephews and so on is more about my world falling apart than the actual mourning and grief itself.

Fear is a powerful force. It makes us deny things, run away, fight like crazy, and sometimes immobilizes us completely.

Life is full of fearful things. We know fear because of past hurt. I fear grief, having gone through it so many times, as so many of us have, but having gone through it with my eyes open, my fear is so much not a run-away fear, or a fighting fear. It's a fear that comes with acknowledgment - perhaps it's not fear at all, just an understanding that when it happens (because I know it will happen again - for whatever reason) it will be unpleasant.

Life is not always pleasant. Watch TV, especially commercials, or movies, read magazines, and everything is tidy and clean. We work as a society to get rid of ants and spiders and mosquitoes, even when we are in their habitats. We rid ourselves of bodily hair and natural odors. We even try as best we can to rid our counter-tops of bacteria, not realizing that more bacteria live in our bellybuttons (and will stay there, no matter how hard we try to get rid of them) than we would ever be able to imagine, and that bacteria continue to be the biggest source of oxygen on the planet (I think). I'm not saying these things are necessarily bad or wrong - especially if the animal you are trying to get rid of is the bear at your cottage door (yes, this also happened recently to someone close to me). But as a general rule, we in North America see the world as belonging to humans and want so badly for it to be under our control, that we are willing to disregard everything the human species has learned about nature to have ourselves a clean, orderly and comfortable life, during which we don't talk about death and we hide our grief because it is uncomfortable and messy, and unknowable.

But nature is like that. It has its own order, but it is rather chaotic. Life is chaotic, and wild, and messy, and sometimes gooey and goopy and gross. It is not predictable, and it is not neat and tidy. It has periods of calm and times of intense whirling and tilting. It is indeed something fearsome, and awesome (in the original, dictionary definition sense of the word). It is beyond our control. And it is definitely not concerned about being fair, or just. It simply is.

It is also the source of all beauty, and the source of all joy.

So because this blog is all about me, I ask - how do these people's deaths affect me, if I've never met them before, and didn't even know about their demise? Why does it even impact my life? Seriously? Is everything about me?

The truth is that it doesn't affect me in any earth-shattering kind of way. I am certainly not grieving their loss, because I never had them to lose. But it affects my friends, and therefore it affects me. And it affects my worldview, because of all of a sudden, it is not just an abstract fear that parents die - it has happened to three people I know, in the space of one month, which makes it so much more real. Yes, my mother's parents both passed, but that was a long time ago, and I was young, and I was also mourning my relationship with them. My childhood friend's mother died a few years back, and that was tough, but again, I mourned the death of a role model. This, however, is so removed from my life, that I can see, objectively, the loss that these three women have experienced. I sense their pain, and I see their reactions, and I am a witness to their grief, and I am witness to the chaos that has ensued in their lives; especially those who themselves live with severe illness like I do. It is real, and it is hard, and I do not want to go through that. Not now. Not ever.

But that's the game of life. It hurts, and it's not always fun to play.

Today, I am grateful that I am untouched by grief right now. I know it's coming - you can't hide from it - but today it's not here. Today, the world is hot, and besides that and the low pressure that is making my head spin, my world is beautiful.

So Mom, Dad, sister, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and everybody else out there who supports me, you are hereby ordered to deny the laws of nature, care for yourselves diligently, and stick around for the rest of my life, ok?!? Just like in the movies, dudes, we're going for the happy ending! Good, glad you got the message. xoxo

1 comment:

  1. LOUD and CLEAR!!!!! done and done!!!!!

    From a book your mom and I read when Renee became a star in the sky.

    Death is simply a shedding of the physical body, like a butterfly coming out of a cocoon.....It's like putting away your winter coat when spring comes.
    ~~~Elisabeth Kubler-Ross~~~