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Ltlabner
10-02-2006, 06:42 PM
dman's thread touched on something that's been nagging me lateley...

I've never experienced death close up before. I had some great-grandparents pass away but nobody particularly close to me. I guess part of getting older is starting to experience death more and more. Latley it seems to be happening a lot.

My brushes with death latley have been minor (my dog attacked and killed a raccon) to major (very close coworker died from cancer). Another very close friend is fighting breast cancer right now. She's been in remmission for a few months now (inflamatory breast cancer) but it was touch and go for a while. Additionally my wife and I experienced death in a particularly close way earlier this year.

My grandparents are in their 80's and my grandmother is in poor health. My wifes father is 72, while her mother and my parents are in their 60's. I know it's time to start dealing with the fact that they woln't be around forever. Nursing homes, sickness and illness seem to be right around the corner.

I don't really know why I am posting this, what it means, or what discussion I hope it spurs. I don't know, I guess part of "growing up" is dealing with death. I'm in my mid 30's but I have more in common with those in their 40's than those in their 20's (bought and sold houses, carear, car payments, kids, etc) so I guess it's time to recognize and deal with death.

dman
10-02-2006, 07:10 PM
Good post. IMHO, I think it is because death permeates what we hear in our lives on a daily basis more so than sex or anything else. We've had three school shootings in less than a week, rising body counts in wars. Compound this with the automobile accidents, the cancers, and the various other "natural" causes, and you can see what I'm talking about.

Me personally, I think we live in a more "death indoctrinated" society than ever before.

Falls City Beer
10-02-2006, 07:17 PM
dman's thread touched on something that's been nagging me lateley...

I've never experienced death close up before. I had some great-grandparents pass away but nobody particularly close to me. I guess part of getting older is starting to experience death more and more. Latley it seems to be happening a lot.

My brushes with death latley have been minor (dog attacked and killed a raccon) to major (very close coworker died from cancer). Another very close friend is fighting breast cancer right now. She's been in remmission for a few months now (inflamatory breast cancer) but it was touch and go for a while. Additionally my wife and I experienced death in a particularly close way earlier this year.

My grandparents are in their 80's and my grandmother is in poor health. My wifes father is 72, while her mother and my parents are in their 60's. I know it's time to start dealing with the fact that they woln't be around forever. Nursing homes, sickness and illness seem to be right around the corner.

I don't really know why I am posting this, what it means, or what discussion I hope it spurs. I don't know, I guess part of "growing up" is dealing with death. I'm in my mid 30's but I have more in common with those in their 40's than those in their 20's (bought and sold houses, carear, car payments, kids, etc) so I guess it's time to recognize and deal with death.

Not a whit, we defy augury: there's a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, 'tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come: the readiness is all: since no man knows aught of what he leaves, what is it to leave betimes? Let be.

Tony Cloninger
10-02-2006, 07:27 PM
I would have to say that the 1300's through most of the 1500's would be a more "death indoctrinated" era....that beats this era hands down.

Crusades.......Black Death.......Inquisitions.......No baseball.

I think you would literally see people dying right in front of you.....towns and cities just destroyed. There really was no escape from death.

Even with all the death that happens today,......this world is still so over populated that it does not even come close to the hell on earth that was the Middle Ages.

I think it starts to affect you more when you get older and you see your parent's get sick.....and friends of yours get sick...their parent's and so on.

Plus the way the media will just beat you over the head with it.....but at least you can avoid that by just turning it off.

OldRightHander
10-02-2006, 07:47 PM
One of the problems in today's society is that we try to sanitize death so much and shelter children from it. When my grandfather passed in 1977, I was not allowed to attend the funeral because I wasn't "old enough to handle such things." For years I mourned my grandfather's passing because I had never really had the chance to say goodbye and to have that really intense mourning that one has at a funeral. It took me years to get over it. Since then I've lost two more grandparents, some great aunts and uncles, a couple cousins, and a couple high school classmates. The more you face it, the more you get used to it, but I don't know if it ever really gets easy. It's just that the more mature you become the more equipped you are to handle it. A good mourning period is essential though.

Caseyfan21
10-02-2006, 07:58 PM
I agree with a lot of what's been said in this thread. I am younger (21) and, I guess, have not been affected quite as much by death. I had a friend commit suicide during high school and a few other fellow students die unexpectedly, which was rough and I have had 3-4 older relatives pass away, but in reality I really haven't had anyone on my "inner circle" pass away.

I have noticed when these sorts of things (illness, deaths, etc) happen, they tend to happen in bunches. It always seems like things will be going great and then one thing after another tends to occur.

I guess anything can happen anyday and we should always make sure to say "I love you" when wrapping up a visit or telephone call with a loved one.

dman
10-02-2006, 09:40 PM
I don't know if saying I'm immune to death is the right way to express this, but I get thrust into situations where I have no choice but to deal with it. In 10 years as a trooper I have handles 13 fatal crashes. 12 of those required me going to the victim's residence and making next of kin notifications. 6 of those 13 times I did this by myself because we were shortstaffed on these particular nights.

I remeber each and every one of these situations like they happened yesterday and I haven't handled a fatal crash since 2001. I remember the victim's names and in most instances the clothing that they were wearing when I arrived on scene. To me that shows the significance that dealing with death has on the human psyche.

15fan
10-02-2006, 10:02 PM
When I go, I'm leaving behind these instructions:

* Any & all organs that I have are up for grabs. If there's something inside me that can benefit someone else, then by all means they can have it.

* There will be bouncers at the funeral. They will be under strict orders to deny entrance to anyone dressed in black.

* After the funeral, a chunk of the life insurance is to go towards a huge rockin party. Live bands, fireworks, a magician & moon bounce jumpy contraption for the kids, and pretty much anything else that would make my passing go down as the greatest funeral party in the history of humanity.

reds1869
10-02-2006, 10:11 PM
I've long accepted my own mortality and that of those around me. As a result, I'm often left feeling like the cold, emotionless guy at funerals. It's not that I'm not sad or upset, it's just that I've had my share of relatives and friends die, and I've learned to move on. That said, I don't think I would handle the death of my wife, parents or siblings very well. I would deal with it, but I'm sure it would not be an easy thing.

Betterread
10-02-2006, 10:19 PM
Not a whit, we defy augury: there's a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, 'tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come: the readiness is all: since no man knows aught of what he leaves, what is it to leave betimes? Let be.

Hamlet, the scholar from Martin Luther's Wittenburg, carefully follows Calvin, the codifier of Reformation theology, in linking the creed of special providence to "the fall of a sparrow," from a key passage from Jesus's commissioning of his apostles in the Gospel of Matthew.

Matthew 10:28-31 (1560) - The Geneva Bible

And fear ye not them which kill the body, but are nor able to kill the soul: but rather fear him, which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing, and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father?
Yea, and all the hairs of your head are numbered.
Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value then many sparrows.

Hamlet specifically recalls Scripture in which Jesus, drawing on the language of the Sermon on the Mountó"Behold the fowls of the heaven: for they sow not, neither reap, nor carry into the barns: yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better then they?" (Matthew 6:26)óreminds the apostles not to fear the death of the body but the death of the soul: eternal damnation. But to Calvin, the passage had a special application. In his Commentaries on the Gospels, Calvin writes specifically to the godly who face persecution from the tyranny of the state.

John Calvin, Commentaries VI, "Providence" (1555)
Are not two sparrows, etc. Now Christ goes on to declare, as I have already hinted, that no matter how mad the tyrants may be, they have no power even over the body. Therefore, those who fear the cruelty of men, as though they were without God's protection, are fools. In the midst of perils, we have this second comfort that, since God is the keeper of our lives, we may safely rely upon his providence. It is really an insult to God, not to place our lives at the disposal of him who has honored us with his protection. Christ extends the providence of God to all creatures in common, and so argues by way of synecdoche (from the whole to the part), that God exercises a particular care over us. There is nothing cheaper than a sparrow (two were sold for a penny; or as Luke has it, five for two pennies), and yet God's eye is upon it, and nothing happens to it by chance. Will he then who looks after sparrows neglect to watch over the lives of men?

Christ defines the providence of God very differently from those who, not unlike the philosophers, admit that somehow the world is under divine government, and yet imagine the workings of providence in a confused way, as though God paid no attention to individual creatures. Christ, on the other hand, declares that every single one of God's creatures is under his hand and care, and that nothing happens by chance. In this way, he firmly opposes the will of God to chance . . . . nothing occurs merely by the wheels of blind fortune, because the will of God reigns over all that happens. . . . When Christ tells us that even the hairs of our heads are numbered, he does it not to arouse us to empty speculation, but to teach us to rest in God's Fatherly care, which he exercises in behalf of these frail bodies of ours.

Johnny Footstool
10-02-2006, 10:32 PM
Christ defines the providence of God very differently from those who, not unlike the philosophers, admit that somehow the world is under divine government, and yet imagine the workings of providence in a confused way, as though God paid no attention to individual creatures. Christ, on the other hand, declares that every single one of God's creatures is under his hand and care, and that nothing happens by chance. In this way, he firmly opposes the will of God to chance . . . . nothing occurs merely by the wheels of blind fortune, because the will of God reigns over all that happens. . . . When Christ tells us that even the hairs of our heads are numbered, he does it not to arouse us to empty speculation, but to teach us to rest in God's Fatherly care, which he exercises in behalf of these frail bodies of ours.

That's just about perfect.

To me, the only sad thing about death is dying with regrets. Make sure your loved ones know how much they mean to you, and don't ignore the happiness of everyday life.

SunDeck
10-03-2006, 11:32 AM
My wife and I had a bad run back in the 90s', with the death of a parent and a sibling. Then one of our closest friends died suddenly and yet another friend was hit by a truck on his bike and was killed.
We reflect on this every once in a while, having experienced more loss than anyone else we know in such a short time. My mom once said that it wasn't fair to have all this heaped on us in such a short period of time. My wife and I are not especially introspective, but in the end I think we both are emotionally stronger from having been through all this.

The experiences still affect us. If the phone rings at a time that is out of the ordinary, like really early on a Sunday morning, the first thing I think is that a relative has died. There are entire CDs that we don't play because of the memories they bring up. And there are still times when I see someone who resembles my friend and I have to look twice to make sure it's not him.

I don't know if this is where the thread was intended to go, but that's my experience with death. It's the hardest thing about life we have to deal with and I only hope to stay away from it for a great long while.

vaticanplum
10-03-2006, 11:56 AM
It's the hardest thing about life we have to deal with and I only hope to stay away from it for a great long while.

I think that the "nice" thing about death is that it reminds us of the living. It is the hardest thing to deal with in the sense that it stays with you and you never truly get over it. But we are better-equipped to deal with it than we are some other, theoretically smaller things in my opinion, because everyone can relate to it, everyone understands it on some level (even if they don't think they do) and it rallies people around you. People are strong in the face of death because they have no choice. Some of that strength comes from being able to say they're weak and asking for help, which is something that many people will do in the face of death that they will never do otherwise. Some people do fall apart and stop living. But not the majority.

I think that some things in life are harder to deal with, because we don't expect them, because we have never equipped ourselves to deal with them, and because other people don't know how to handle them and they leave us alone, not that we ask for their help anyway. Death, no matter how sudden and unexpected, always lingers in possibility below the surface and so no matter how much we think we're not prepared, we get ourselves prepared but fast when it happens. There's no other option. And apart from survival mode, I don't think there's too much to do to prepare yourself otherwise before it happens, except to appreciate the living.

OldRightHander
10-03-2006, 12:32 PM
I had an experience over the weekend. I usually do pretty large freight and the company that dispatches me saves the small stuff for the guys who drive the mini vans and pickups. Saturday the dispatcher called because he couldn't find anyone else in the area and he wanted me to go grab something from Honeybaked Ham going to a residence. I went over there and expected to find enough food for a large party and it was just two small boxes, a ham and some side dishes. It was probably enough food to last a couple people for a few meals.

When I found the street I was going to, it was in the middle of a trailer park in Fairfield. I drove in there thinking, "Who can live in a run down trailer park and afford to be having food delivered from Honeybaked Ham?" I went to the door of the trailer holding the two boxes of food and knocked. A couple answered the door and when the woman saw what I was holding, she just started crying. They were clearly not expecting me. She opened the first box and there was a card inside. The man then explained that they had two deaths in the family in the space of one week and that someone had had the food sent to them. It really touched them.

It touched me as well. I couldn't get over the judgmental thoughts I had when I was driving into the trailer park and how humble I felt after I got the rest of the story. I also couldn't get over how much that simple food package meant to that couple. I guess grief does that to us. When we're grieving, even the smallest kind gesture can mean so much more. I will never forget the gratitude they showed to me, and I was just the person delivering it. I know that doing that run didn't take much time out of my day and I probably didn't make that much money for it, but I'm glad that I was able to be a part of making that couple's day a little brighter.

Roy Tucker
10-03-2006, 12:43 PM
I guess I've been around the track enough laps now to be familiar with the death of close ones. A parent, grandparents, aunts, uncles, close friends, business associates, church members, I think I've experienced it enough.

The grief part sucks. The gut-wrenching shock, the depths of despair, the blackness that overwhelms you, the aftermath, wearing a black tie, it all stinks. The thing is, the grief eventually goes away. At least to livable levels.

The worst part is that the person is gone. All of what they were, all of their personality, the role they played in your life, their wit, their humor, their buttheadedness, their wisdom, their stupidity, all of what made them *them* is all gone. There is a gap, sometimes small, sometimes massive that opens up in your life. To me, that's the hardest thing to come to grips with.

You go through a reshuffling of people in your life, of relationships you have, of roles they play, of roles *you* play, and you go on. You eventually get used to it (or at least learn how to turn it off), improvise, adapt, and for the most part, overcome.

But, for some of those people, you go through a fundemental change. And I think you come out of it a different person. For better or for worse, I haven't figured that part out yet. But the death of a close one is a life-altering event.

Matt700wlw
10-03-2006, 12:45 PM
Hardest death I've had to deal with was a child.

It wasn't my child, but close friends who had an unfortunate preganancy....

It was harder than losing my grandparents, they were expected, based on age and deteriorationg health

I hope nobody ever has to experience it.

minus5
10-03-2006, 01:40 PM
I lost my sister to an unknown illness that she was struck with when she turned 50. I lost my brother (who was also by far my closest friend) 2 years later to lung cancer. He was just 51.

Quite frankly it made me question my faith, my beliefs and everything else in my life. I had been around death very often as a child having lost all of my grandparents by the time I graduated high school, along with most of my uncles. Enough so that I now associate the smell of flowers with funerals. I had learned to handle the situation as well as I could until those two. A year and a half later my wife still asks me to go talk to someone but I just haven't done so. There are times that I think that I will but I keep putting it off. I'm not sure if my post is relevant but there it is....

HumnHilghtFreel
10-03-2006, 03:06 PM
I've had two horrible Christmases in a row. Two years ago there were the snow storms that displaced us from our house. And this last year my grandmother passed on Christmas eve. For my family, Christmas is always that great thing that brings together the family and this time it brought us together for the wrong reasons. I think as a whole though, it brought us much closer as a family.

I'm only 18 and it was the first death I've had to deal with of someone that was close to me. Seeing my older brothers cry was something so foreign to me, but it humanized these role models for me that much more. My mom still has a hard time with it and she's dreading this coming Christmas season, but as a family, we're all pulling for eachother to make it as good as we possibly can for one another.

Johnny Footstool
10-03-2006, 04:44 PM
I've had two horrible Christmases in a row. Two years ago there were the snow storms that displaced us from our house. And this last year my grandmother passed on Christmas eve. For my family, Christmas is always that great thing that brings together the family and this time it brought us together for the wrong reasons. I think as a whole though, it brought us much closer as a family.

I'm only 18 and it was the first death I've had to deal with of someone that was close to me. Seeing my older brothers cry was something so foreign to me, but it humanized these role models for me that much more. My mom still has a hard time with it and she's dreading this coming Christmas season, but as a family, we're all pulling for eachother to make it as good as we possibly can for one another.

One of the hardest things to do, but something that will help the most, is to focus on the happiness you shared (and still share) each and every Christmas. It really help you put the pain of loss behind you.

reds_fan29
10-03-2006, 07:12 PM
I am 24 and have not had to deal with death much until recently. My sister passed away on June 19 at the age of 37 after battling lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes for 15 years. That death was hard enough but I was able to accept it bc she had been in so much pain for so many years. Then on July 12 my father passed away at 65 from a massive heart attack. Even though he had heart trouble years ago he seemed to be in good health. That was much harder to accept and I dont think I have fully accepted it yet.

paintmered
10-03-2006, 07:22 PM
Hardest death I've had to deal with was a child.

It wasn't my child, but close friends who had an unfortunate preganancy....

It was harder than losing my grandparents, they were expected, based on age and deteriorationg health

I hope nobody ever has to experience it.

My parents have experienced it. I will never understand the amount of grief it has caused them over the last twenty years. As for me, I have the burden of knowing I will never get to meet my brother in this life. But what I carry is insignificant compared to my parents.

I also lost four classmates and teammates over the course of about a year. For a while, my high school class reunions were funerals. That was a rough stretch.

redsmetz
10-04-2006, 07:26 AM
Now at 52 and my folks in their late 70's and my inlaws in their mid 80's, and lots of friends with parents in that same type age range, I've been going to lots of funerals this year (or sending cards - another one yesterday). Part of it, of course, is just part of life. When my next older brother was dying of cancer about four years ago, I remember talking to one of my kids, then in high school. that life wasn't fair. I sort of laughed and told her that one of the things about doing genealogy is that you learn quickly that you're related to a lot of dead people. We talked about how it wasn't fair that my grandpa died when he was 43 and my dad was only 5 (the oldest of 3 kids), that he died from complications from surgery that would be very treatable today. We talked about my grandfather's grandfather who died from a bee sting, also in his 40's leaving behind a wife and eight kids. It never makes it easier, it's part of life. I can say, it's getting old this year (no pun intended) with so many. Enough of my rambling.

Matt700wlw
10-04-2006, 08:51 PM
My parents have experienced it. I will never understand the amount of grief it has caused them over the last twenty years. As for me, I have the burden of knowing I will never get to meet my brother in this life.

I can't imagine if it were my child, or a sibling....or how they felt, I was a wreck. They handled it very well. They're strong people, they kept their heads up, became closer, and now have a beautiful little boy...

I admire them greatly.