Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Death.

Gay Mid-Schooler A new blogger who could use some help.

In other news i just got back from my Grandma's house, or as i call her, 'Nan'. I helped her make the Christmas cakes that she does every year. It was sticky, and messy, which is hard for an OCD freak like me. lol. But it was good times and at least i had something to break the boredom. lol :)

Halfway through she got a phone call from someone, informing her that one of her friends had died. What i noticed was something interesting. She didn't become terribly upset. She didn't even have a tear in her eye. Instead she just talked for a while, as she would during any phone call. Before long she was smiling and sharing jokes as she normally would.

She mentioned to the caller that i was there to help her make the cakes. I assume the person on the telephone said something about me being there to do the mixing, because she mentioned the mixing machine. She went on to say that she borrowed that from a friend one year, and it made things a lot easier. She continued to borrow it from her every year to make the cakes, until the friend ended up in hospital. She said she didn't get to return it after that so she 'scored with that one', or something along those lines, with a soft laugh.

Obviously it was said a lot less bluntly than i put it. It's hard to convey the exact emotions and ways things were said. But i got the impression that for my Grandma, death is not such a terrible thing. After the phone call she just said it was a part of life, and continued to do the cakes.

She didn't let it get her down, and i have respect for my Grandma for that. For i haven't had a death really impact on me yet, and i don't know how i'll cope when it does. I've just always seen it as such a catastrophic, life-changing event. Maybe i shouldn't though.

If only we could see death in a different light than we do now. It might not be such a terrible thing. It might not be so hard to cope with. We might find it easier to accept, and move on, and i think that would be a good thing.

Does what i'm saying make sense? As per usual, probably not. :P

love

22 comments:

Octavius said...

It all depends on the circumstances mate. As an example, my Nan died of cancer last year. When she went it was welcomed by the family, as she was in such pain.

On the other hand, when my friend killed himself, the grief was terrible, due to the tragic loss.

You have to just keep things in perspective. And yes you did make sense.

Courage and honour!

Octavius.

Steevo said...

You make a lot of sense.

About a 100 years ago the death rate was about the same for all age groups. Thus, just as many 9 year olds died as 30 year olds as ANY age. So people at any age saw same age peers die. So it was more normal or natural.

Today with all the medical advances it is not that way.

Have you had grandma tell you about her life in any detail? Maybe you could interview her on tape. Older people generally like to tell their story. As a writer you might be able to use anything, especially her perspective.

s in c

James said...

I think something that changes as we get older is that we learn to accept death as something that is increasingly likely to happen to those around us. We learn to enjoy the time we have, and when they are gone we learn to remember the good times and not focus so much on the bad. That is my view from limited experience.

Pilgrim said...

I guess, the older one gets, the lesser the fear of death. Propz Pilgrim

WkBoy714 said...

Psh, as usual, it does. :)

..I've always feared death. But I know it is better to overcome it.

Micky said...

Hey, Pilgrim has it right. My Great Aunt faced a situation where, as she remarked one day 'All my friends are dying. Soon I'll be the only one left who knows me!"

Adorably silly but it said a lot. To my Great Aunt death was a weekly occurrence, maybe, and therefore commonplace and quite usual. It was not shocking to her that people who were as old as she was were certain to die and to do it anytime now.

Kevin Wilson said...

When you get to a certain age, you realise that you will start attending more funerals than birthdays. I refer to this period as the "business end of life".

Your grandma probably realises that and accepts death as an inevitability and, while she appeared to continue to be cheery after the news, she will grieve for her friend in her own way between now and the funeral.

Death should never be something to fear and a funeral should never be a morose affair but a celebration of the persons life and how it affected us.

xthecouragex said...

What you wrote makes sense. I agree with others that say that as we age our way of looking at death changes.

And also the person who has died also plays a huge impact on how we react/feel. For example if an older friend dies at 92, we tend to celebrate his/her life and say he/she lived a long life and it's less tragic.

But if someone's son or daughter dies young because of an automobile crash then the loss is a little harder to take.

It may be a little blunt, but I also think we get more used to death as we get older and come to terms with it. I've lost 4 friends (1 really close friend) all before I was 20 years old. That doesn't mean that when a friend dies I don't feel grief or whatever, but I do try to remember them for the positive things and not focus as much on the negative fact that they are gone.

This is getting long, but my 93 year old great aunt (who passed away a year ago) used to tell me that she was ready to die. It sounds horrible, but after talking to her a little more I kinda understood. She would joke though and say "all my friends are gone...I guess the good lord just isn't ready for me up there yet"

But this was a good post, sorry for the novel I left you for a comment

Mirrorboy said...

OMG I think Micky and Courage are related! lol

Planetx_123 said...

Re: not having a death impact your life yet-- hopefully it will be many many years before this happens, but for me, I had an outlook and attitude that matched the fact that no tragedies had affected my life. When no tragedies occur, my life outlook was (in retrospect) a bit naive. After the first tragedy that hit my life, my whole outlook changed. I realized that life was terribly fragile.

I am not really afraid of death, but I am afraid of depriving myself of every moment I could have on this earth. Many people find comfort in religion with its promise of an afterlife. Many people also find comfort in drugs or alcohol. Neither offers real comfort (in my opinion), but its nice to think that.

Much Love,
STeve

Eirik said...

Death is a tough one - everyone, every culture deals with it differently. I have noticed like some have mentioned, that as my parents get older and see more of there peers go, that they don't take it very hard. For me, I have been lucky not to loose anyone real close - at least at an age that I understood what was going on, but I did loose my Dog that was my constant companion for 15 years. As funny as it sounds, I cried for days and to this day I think of her. I'm a wimp I know.

Aek said...

Curious, the psychiatrist who lectures our "Foundations of Human Behavior" class went over this topic today. I personally found it a bit sad. However, I appreciate the strength of people to accept death when it's "time." Your grandma seems to have that kind of strength.

There are some things we can only experience with time and experience.

cvn70 said...

mboy

as long as you ean accepting the deaths of othrs im with you. SOmeone like Ben though he isnt ready or anyone here

I think death becomes easier when youare older because it occurs more and to people you know

And maybe you nan knows weare all supposed ot behere for a limited time before we get to go upstairs

a litle humor is always a good way to deal with htings like death too

hope all is well take care and be safe my friend

bob

Jason Carwin said...

You make sense.

I think circumstances matter, but also time matters. After going through so much, death becomes an acceptable part of life, so it no longer is shocking or earth shattering.

For our young lives, it is a terrible occasion that can have profound effects simply because we are not used to it and we don't want to accept it.

J said...

This reminds me of the great WWI poem "Here We Lie" by A.E. Housman, in which he observed,
"Life, to be sure,
Is nothing much to lose,
But young men think it is,
And we were young."
When my best friend was killed in a car wreck, I felt my youth died with him. At the memorial service the expressions on the faces of all his friends told the story of just how profoundly they were compromised by the loss. Our youth died with him. Ask any old person and he will tell you the same: Their friends are gone, their bodies shot, and they have no time left to redeem their lives. In those circumstances, what does life have to offer anymore?

Ben said...

hey, how did you find my blog anyways?

BrightenedBoy said...

When you get to a certain age, I think you start to accept as matter of course that you'll hear of a friend's death every once and a while. You're getting ready to leave. You're in the twilight of your time on Earth.

When my grandmother passed away she was eighty-one years old and, because a terminal illness took her life, had several months to prepare for and deal with the reality of death.

It never bothered her.

She thought of it as the next adventure.

Ethan said...

You always say you don't make sense you do

Yeah I get what you mean. I have a whole post on when someone died and how I felt and really it just depends on who the person is for me

Mirrorboy said...

I have my ways Benny. :P

Mr McCabbage said...

Death is only difficult for those left behind. Energetic cords of attachment rebound into their chakras, so they often feel physical pain or get ill. It also causes depression. The departed have no further need of these cords. By intending that they unwind, they do, and the person feels better. Some old people may feel no need to establish such strong cords, hence easier departures.

Seth said...

People face death, and handle news of death, in so many different ways. Your Nan's way of dealing with it is just one way - and she's right, death IS a part of life, despite how upsetting it is. But it is also a life-changing event (gah, that sounds like a really bad pun) in many ways - some good, some bad, but all inevitable.

Umm. Now I'm not making sense.

Dean Grey said...

Mirrorboy!

It makes a lot of sense to me too.

Your grandmother is at a different stage in her life.

She's "been there, done that" hundreds of times compared to you.

Her life is full and she most likely accomplished most of the things she wanted to in life. That often comes with age.

So naturally she looks at death differently than people who're much younger.

For her, death is a part of life. Something that comes with old age.

She handled the news well IMHO! You're lucky to have her in your life!

-Dean