amusing diversions take2

Friday, October 22, 2004

theme week eight

Death has always held the highest level of fascination, even obsession for me. Death, the great equalizer, death, the last experience any living thing ever has. Some find death cruel, and some soothing. Some rage against it, some accept, and some left behind die of the broken heart it leaves. It is the opposite of birth, the event that, in the end, makes life most precious. Life is finite, and no one can escape it.
I think this particular obsession has often shocked and distressed people. Some it made angry or made them think I was callous. This is not the case. I was born with eleven living biological grandparents. I now have three. I lost a seven year old cousin when I was nine. That same year I lost an ‘adopted’ grandmother. Last year I lost a child. Hardly a six month period passes in my life when someone important to me has not died. I feel their loss keenly, and though time makes the edge of it blur, it does not go away.
Some have died peacefully, as most of my older relatives did. Some though, have not. Tyler, my cousin, died a rather violent death of internal hemorrhage. Just a few weeks ago a friend of the family died of stage four lung cancer. So it is not a lack of respect for grief and pain that causes this interest. I do not have strong belief of what happens when someone dies. I know it is generally comforting to most people to believe in heaven and hell or such things but such reassurances aren’t for me. I don’t know what happens, but somehow it does not matter. They are no longer here with me, and yet not gone.
Death makes life worthwhile. Death is what humbles us all in the end. No one may stand before it and come out unchanged. Is it a wonder that it can fascinate to the point of distraction? It hurts, it is unfair, unchangeable. It leaves gaps in the lives of the rest of us. It is not evil however. It is natural, and an integral part of the identity of the human race. To be aware that at some point your life will be over can be a very powerful motivation indeed. So grieve, it is only right, when death comes to call. Yet be aware that this powerful force is something we all face, and if you look in your heart you must know those who die are not in fact gone.


Blogger johngoldfine said...

What do you think, looking back at this piece after nearly a week?

October 28, 2004 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger Erika Lynne said...

This of course, didn't actually say anything that I meant it too. It doesn't really say much at all. I just got so sick of trying to write it that I gave up and posted what I had. It is too generalized all the way through, instead of moving from a large topic to a small one. It was perhaps something too close to home to effectively write anything about without making a hash of it. I'll post one of the other pieces I tried with this theme.

October 29, 2004 at 3:25 PM  
Blogger johngoldfine said...

Writers, real ones, are always in the dumps and slagging themselves or high as kites (I don't worry about cliches this early in the day.) I used to try and reassure people that all things pass, including the sense of failure, but I've come around to the idea that the highs and lows are unavoidable and perhaps the tension between them is necessary for some people before they can write. I'd include myself in 'some people.'

October 31, 2004 at 9:48 AM  

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