Over the past few days, I’ve been thinking about death and grief (again). For the most part, I think the way one dies is a reflection of how one has lived their life. Both of my parents passed away in a manner consistent with this idea. My dad died ONLY when he was told that we would, and would be able to. take care of each other. My mom passed away quietly, with dignity and without making a fuss for the people who loved her. My (great) Aunt Irene died after “extreme measures were tried,” which is also fitting given how much she lived through. My dad’s mom passed away in her sleep, after being visited by children on a service project–fitting considering that she loved children, and she didn’t want to be a bother (even when her depression made her one).
This view doesn’t take into account random tragic acts, nor does it really explain my grandfather’s passing. Still, my idea needs some work . I’d like to hear what other people think about this idea…
Sounds decidedly spiritual to me, Mart.
Yes and no. Death seems to take people at the strangest times – sometimes far too soon. And for others, they spend years suffering – or without recognizing themselves or their family.
It’s just hard to understand why for some it is a reflection of how they lived – and for others it’s just senseless. They were taken way too young, way too soon. Sorry – that’s just my $.02. YMMV.
In the once-played but now doomed BLACK POWDER setting, how you died was as important as the sign you were born under and the life you lived when determining whether or not you’d leave behind miserable ghosts or gruesome zombies. If you were a soldier, and you died a soldier’s death, okay then. If you were a baker, though, and you died a soldier’s death, then watch out, ’cause that’s not What You Had Coming.
Black Powder ruled.
Marty, I have always admired your ability to “go there” about death. I am afraid to say that I cannot do it. For me, death is death. I never seek to understand it much beyond figuring a way out of the grief. Those actions rarely speak to the issue you raise.
Much love to you and Shannon during this time. Big hug reaching from PHL…
A neighbor across the street in NY was brought home to die, after numerous age related illnesses. She didn’t let go until my folks promised her that Gordan, her husband, would be taken care of. Fitting, considering they were so devoted to each other that he hiked through thigh-deep snow, a mile each way, to see her in the hospital, after a major storm. He was 84 when he did that.
My great grandmother, who died of either ovarian or uteran cancer (family lore varies), sat down in her favorite chair, and called each of her children to say good-bye. When she hung up with the youngest, she died.
It seems, often, that older people go out the way they lived. Not all the time, but it’s almost like they’ve adjusted to the idea of death, and accepted it, and that makes it possible for them to go the way they want to.
And Will, Blackpowder totally ruled. 🙂
Yeah: I think how one passes is more related to how one approaches it, in a literal way. Those that see it coming tend to react more calmly.
In any case, I intend to die as I lived: with cowardice.
Yeah, Black Powder was a great setting.
My mother held on for much longer than she was expected to. Long enough to say goodbye, and long enough to start to accept what was happening.
At the time I didn’t think it was long enough, but it was. It just took a while to understand.
Sorry, but my mom’s death was pretty senseless. My father’s death is a consummation devoutly to be wished, but he ain’t cooperating.
“This view doesn’t take into account random tragic acts, nor does it really explain my grandfather’s passing. Still, my idea needs some work . I’d like to hear what other people think about this idea…”
I did mention that I recognize that there is senselessness in death.
I’m sorry, I was awful. Been having a godawful week and was insufficiently precise in my snarkery, which was aimed at relatives and not you.