The action or fact of dying or being killed; the end of the life of a person or organism.
An instance of a person or an animal dying.
So cold, callous and final is death, therefore the definition holds no particular glamour, no allure or promise of grandeur. Blunt and to the point, finality, end of subject.
But what death really means is so much more to those affected by its looming presence. Opening deaths door scars you emotionally; death leaves one wondering how, or why? What could this person have done differently changing the course of history, altering this ones “end of days?”
Death means nothing to those who are gone, but means so much to all who are left behind. Family members grieve, friends despair, acquaintances wonder what can be done to support those in anguish. A circle of emotional extremes travels through anyone and everyone who ever spoke the name of the deceased. And that’s ok, its how we process the loss of a being we will never lay eyes upon again. That in and of itself is truly hard to comprehend.
All living things have an expiration date. Its like the elephant in the room. We know it’s there yet we refuse to talk about it. I surmise the only reason it’s so hard to wrap our minds around is because our expiration date is unknown. We walk through life as though we can live forever yet in reality our next step could very well be our last. This alone could and should leave even the faintest of hearts terrified! For the smallest of acts such as opening a window to the outside world may lead to ones own extinction .
But in reality fear of death or someone dying unexpectedly doesn’t leave the majority of us human beings terrified at all. Sure we wonder about it, the where’s, why’s and how’s but it doesn’t stop us in our tracks, leave us helpless, lying on the floor in the fetal position. Why, because we have been bestowed with a phenomenal gift! A gift so great we should all be grateful for obtaining its possession! That gift?
Memories are amazing! I as most, have lost a few people I cared deeply about in my life and what astounded me personally was the flood of wonderful memories after their passing. Its strange really, many of those memories were completely forgotten about until after my loved ones/friends death. Hundreds of fantastic, laughter filled, teary eyed, warm and comforting memories! The human brain continues to baffle me with its amazing complexity and instantaneous ability to work in the right way at exactly the right time. Combine that with a few good friends/family members, some wine and a photo album or two and stand back! Not a dry in the house and laughter combined with a strange reaction known as smiling will ensue! Does it replace a good old-fashioned hug from someone you love? No. But I bet you remember some of the nicest hugs you ever received from that person. Does it replace sipping a cool drink while partaking in an awesome conversation with the recently deceased? Nope, not a chance! But I guarantee your memory will allow you to lay in bed at night fondly remembering long conversations from evenings past?
Listen I am not saying memories are a perfect cure-all for an aching heart. It hurts to lose someone! It hurts deep inside, it hurts on the outside and for a period of time it feels as though the pain may never go away. But instead of letting the finality of deaths definition eat away at your soul; choose to remember, not forget. Choose to laugh and smile chasing away the effect left you by the grim reapers blackened robe. Let memories take ahold and guide you through the darkness into a place of light and understanding. A place where even though they had nothing to do with the timing of their passing you can forgive them for being gone, still love them for what they brought into your life and cherish ever single wonderful memory you have to reflect upon time and time again.
Remember; everyone, no matter who they are had a redeeming quality! Never at one wake, one funeral, one celebration of life have I heard a single person stand up to eulogize the deceased and say: “place-name here” was a god damn son of a bitch! I hated that bastard so much I am glad they are dead!
So grab those memories, smile and remember; celebrate all of their life experiences no matter how big, no matter how small, remember they loved you as well and in the end remember most of all how lucky you are to have spent what ever time the good lord afforded you with that person. Our time here isn’t promised, we should never ever sweat the small stuff, tomorrow may never come and memories last forever.
DEATH nor its meager definition can take that away from any of us.
In memory of Grandmother Rosemary
One of the few women I have ever met who lived life on her own terms and could flow into a room effortlessly while stealing the show with poise, grace, intelligence and kindness. May she rest in peace…..
4 thoughts on “Will you let deaths door remain open?”
Nicely written. Just a good reminder for us all.
Thank you. 🙂
James, I can not find enough words to say “thank you”. Our family recently experienced a sudden death, my son-in-law Dale Simons. He was only 37 years old, leaving children of ages 10,8,6 and one year old. Our grieving has been hard, and I find myself in tears thinking of him – daily.
Your thoughts speak to my heart….especially since his one year son will not know his dad, but will only have “picture” memories of him. We honor him everyday in laughter and in grief.
I am glad my words bring comfort. Keep laughing and remembering. 🙂