Tuesday, November 29, 2011

On Mortality

Yesterday morning, when I asked my boss how her holiday had been, she mentioned that her nephew had died. He was in his early 20s. Apparently, he had too much to drink on Thanksgiving, slept on his back, and choked to death on his vomit.

I wonder what it would be like to die in such a manner. Would you realize what was happening? Would it hurt? Would it be a peaceful way to go? Did he struggle? Could it have been prevented (other than the obvious of not over-imbibing)? What would it be like to just not wake up one morning?

This led me to thinking about mortality in general. Life is pretty fragile and can end at any moment. Everyone dies; no one is immune.

What happens next?

I, obviously, have no concrete answer for this. I could spout on about what religion has taught me or what I hope might happen.

But maybe a better topic for consideration is what happens to those left to grieve.

I'm not an expert. I can only share my experience.

I lost my mom suddenly when I was 17. She died in a tragic car accident. It was very sad.

And life changing.

Just like that my life changed completely and would never be the same.

Over time, the heartache lessened. I'm sure I experienced all the appropriate stages of grief. It will be 17 years this December. I still miss her a lot. She often appears in my dreams. Usually as someone who has come back to me, someone who faked her death. Perhaps that's weird. Maybe I haven't truly gotten to that Acceptance stage. I don't know.

Although these dreams are often troubling, they remind me of her and keep her close to my thoughts. I have many great memories of her that I will always cling to.

I will always love her.

Wow. This post took a totally different turn than what I had intended. That's OK, I suppose.

Perhaps this is more what I needed.

What are your thoughts on mortality? Have you lost someone close to you? How has loss affected you?

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  1. I actually had no idea that your mother passed away. :( Thank you for sharing this poignant memory and perspective with us.

  2. My mom passed away soon after my 2nd daughter was born so i think of them together often. I remember, and talk about, my mom to my kids a lot. I tell them of her love of music, from Opera to Big Band, Brahams to Queen, and her wonderful talent on the piano. I miss her every time I make hot chocolate from a mix instead of from scratch like she did, and I always insist on waiting until after Thanksgiving to play Christmas music.

    It's OK to miss her. It's healthy to remember and to keep her alive in your dreams. I think she'd like that idea.

  3. Grief is a unique thing - to each person something different. As are our ways of remembering. What a terrible tragedy for your boss's family. And for you. There is no good age to lose a parent, but I can only imagine those teen years have their own challenges. Hugs.