Let’s Talk About Dying

No, really. Let’s talk about it. Let’s everybody talk about it.

We’re all going to die sometime, and while I’m not advocating hastening anybody’s death, I think death should be met with as much grace and anticipation as birth, puberty, or any other naturally-occurring event in our lives.

I participate on internet forums where people are spending their families into bankruptcy, making themselves sick beyond comprehension, all in a futile effort to stave off the inevitable. I can understand that when the sick person is a youngster, or a young person with children, but when the victim is elderly, has led a long and fruitful life, why not go gracefully to the other side? Instead of encouraging them to cling tenaciously to the physical body, we should be holding graduation ceremonies for that person and celebrating their contribution to the world.

I don’t get it. I really don’t. Except, perhaps, we don’t talk about it enough. My family knows (at least I think they do, I hope they do, I will make sure they do) my wishes about how easily I intend to slip beyond the veil to the other side. I can’t imagine that there is anything to fear there. We’re all going to go there, so why would anybody want to be dragged kicking and screaming, making it an unhappy, miserable event for everybody?

I hear people who have incurable, terminal cancer say: “I’m going to fight this with every ounce of energy left in my body, to my last breath.” And I say: Why? Does the God of your understanding have something horrible in store for you? I doubt it.

I ask you to think carefully about this topic and bring it up around your dinner table. Make certain that you understand how your loved ones feel about their deaths, encourage them to put those feelings in writing so there is no mistake about it, and make some arrangements for yourself while you’re at it. There’s no question that the death of a loved one or family member is an emotional time, and illness is a very stressful time. So that is not the time for these decisions to be made; that is not the time for these discussions to take place.

Watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyHLxPlQ_To

Get your mind right and get your earthly affairs in order. Then, when the time comes (and we never know when that will be), things will be easier on everybody.


Filed under Aging, Death, Dying, Social Consciousness, Spirituality

4 responses to “Let’s Talk About Dying

  1. capncrusty

    I ain’t goin’. Next question.

  2. Josh

    I don’t disagree with your philosophy, but I don’t take issues with those who choose to fight off death as long as they can. We are instinctually wired to surface for air, eat when we’re hungry, and remove our hand from a hot stove, so it doesn’t surprise me that people hold on to every scrap of life they have left, even if the reality beyond the veil isn’t that scary.

    Besides, we are conditioned to view death negatively. People who stave off terrible diseases and go on living despite the predictions of doctors are regarded as heroes, while those who end their lives early are, in many circles, regarded as cowards. Both are personal decisions, and I don’t place moral stock in either one.

    Personally, even if it is too idealist in reality, I try to see the beauty in death whenever possible. Life is a difficult, painful journey highlighted by fleeting hope and moments of joy contrasting a seemingly endless potential for suffering. If death is viewed as a positive passing rather than the most horrific event in a life that’s probably full of them, then that makes everything a little bit easier to bear.

    Death marks the point that we are free from our pain, and even if there isn’t some fantastic afterlife waiting beyond that, nobody can take away the impact we made on those around us, or the deeds we accomplished while still on Earth. In some capacity our spirits will last forever, reaching out to those we reached and eternally shaping the plane of existence that we were a part of for only the briefest of moments.

    • Ashley

      I started to come to the awareness of my own mortality in high school, and I made the decision that I want to die laughing. In my last moments, I’m going to need someone there to tell me the best damn joke ever, so that I can move on in joy, and also so that the last thing remembered of me is joy. Know a good one?

      • capncrusty

        Ashley: how ’bout this.

        Three individuals, each representing a well-known ethnicity often associated with humorous characteristics, walk into a business establishment. Words are exchanged, hilarity ensues.

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