05 January 2009

The dread of something after death

Death, as Shakespeare wrote, is the "undiscovered country from who bourn no traveler returns."

Even at 46, I'm still -somewhat - afraid to die. Perhaps, exactly because no one knows what lies beyond this mortal coil. I want to believe that there is something else than darkness, that my soul, life energy or whatever, continues on after my heart gives its last beat. But, I don't know, and that worries me.

While this is a morbid thought, the reason I bring it up is that death is here everyday, things we hear on the news about a murder, a car accident, a tragic confluence of things that kills some child, some mother, or father. The rash, so it would seem, of Hollywood stars dying.

These last few months, death has come close to me. Not in the sense that I've lost family members, but that I've seen the passing of other people's family members. That death has visited my friends, and I'm worried its getting closer to mine.

Back in November, when I had learned my friend and former co-worker Pete had taken his life, I have not gone a day without thinking of him. It was then that I also had heard of the death of Pete and I's old General Manager at the Borders we worked at in Oak Park a few months prior to Pete taking his life. Then, just before Christmas, my stepbrother's wife lost her father after a long battle with cancer. And now, today I learn my friend Marc and his brother Matt have traveled home to St. Louis because their mother's husband is, apparently, losing his battle with cancer.

Both Marc and Matt lost their dad a few years ago (their parents, however, had been divorced for many years), and now they'll lose a step-father.

Its been nearly 3 years since the death of my brother-in-law, yet I know that spectre is haunting my great uncle, who is now 95; my sweet Uncle Joe, my Godfather. And while I'll be sad when he goes, he's had 9 decades on this earth. All of the recent ones closest to me, have left way too soon.

Death is fickle and never fair. I want to be here as long as possible, if only because I an scared of what lies in that undiscovered country. I know there is nothing I can do about it, I know worrying about it is pointless, but like a bad debt, it hangs on the edge of my conscious thoughts, always there, always whispering.

Like dead leaves in a strong wind, it skittles across my days and my nights.

I send my best to Marc and Matt, for I love them both.

1 comment:

AdamZ Blog said...

Jaytee tells me over and over how the death of his mother touched him...He always told me we can't promise tomorrow, because we may not be here tomorrow. So he's a live for today kinda guy...not very cheery, but certainly very Zen.