Last night I couldn’t sleep for two different reasons, the first being that I have had a cold now for about two weeks and was completely congested. The second reason being that my mind was conjuring up thoughts that I cannot even explain to myself, let alone others, but right now I am going to try. Recently someone I went to school with passed away, which I believe is what brought on all of these thoughts in my head. In no way can I go in to detail about this person, because personally I only knew him through certain classes, and can remember having a few conversations with him due to those classes as well as seeing him on campus, and in a few instances I remember having lunch with him and some mutual friends. I am deeply saddened for his family and close friends, coming from me that will never amount to much, but never-the-less I will still have my own memories from High School of this person and how those instances affected my life.
While I pondered over this last night, my mind kept returning to the concept of death…and to everyone alive today it is a foreign notion. It is also a very scary thought for most people, including myself. One minute you are here and then the next you’re just gone. Our time is so fragile and limited here on Earth. For me this was the thought that I kept reflecting on in my mind. How can we be so alive then just be gone from the world? Others will argue this topic, stating that you are never really gone when you live in the memories of those whose lives you touched. People like Thomas Edison, Brittany Murphy, and Michael Jackson…those famous names who everyone knows will always live on through history because of the lives they led.
But what about the rest of the world? Who remembers us when we pass on? Yes, family and friends, but they will work through that pain and move along with their lives as time goes on, continuing to walk the Earth like nothing has really changed, while we become a vague memory. How can we as human beings have all of these thoughts of our own, have a voice, have goals, be here physically then all of a sudden NOT here? For me I cannot fathom NOT being here, while I know I have no choice in the matter, I still cannot justify not being here. I don’t consider myself to be selfish by saying this, because it’s not for myself that I cannot imagine being gone. I can’t even think to leave my parents, my brother and sister, my relatives, my friends…even more so Shane and our three dogs. There is no world without them, it’s just not possible. If I was just absent, not here for those people I love the most, what does that say about me?
Of course though, I am alive, I would have thoughts such as these because I am breathing, I see everything around me, my mind is sending all of these thoughts through my brain and creating these emotions. The feelings we have on a daily basis are proof of just how viable we are, those people who passed on in our lifetime will always have a special place in our lives. I struggle with this, I know a lot of people have, because it is an experience you do not come back from, no one can tell us what to expect. All human beings have a fear of the unknown, and death is the biggest unknown in this world. Where do my thoughts go? My actions? My feelings? Do I just become a huge void in this world? Will I impact someone’s life enough to live on through their memories? Even so, I’ll maybe be remembered through a generation or two before my name is lost into the vast family tree, maybe a mention of name here or there.
Right now, I am here and that is all I know. I am very fortunate but in a way very unprepared for reality, as I have been lucky enough to still have my grandparents on both sides, as well as my great-grandparents on my father’s side. How many people can even say today that they have met their great-grandparents? Not many at all, I grew up knowing these people. I know that they will all not be here forever, and besides these thoughts from last night, I do not dwell on that fact. I make sure to appreciate every minute of their time that I can. I do not know what happens in death, and everyone has their own faith, their beliefs through religion that gives them hope that our lives are more than this. I guess it’s hard for me to accept death as a common occurrence, as something that literally happens each day. It’s difficult for me, because I just don’t understand death.
I am alive, I have thoughts, I put words to paper, I breathe in oxygen, I have feelings, I have people in my life that I cannot dream living without…but I guess that’s just it. I cannot explain death, because I am not dead. No one can explain death or what happens; if our thoughts continue on, if we are more than just another body roaming the Earth. We who are here right now can only do one thing, and that is live, carrying our thoughts, our burdens, our memories with us. Death cannot be explained by someone like me, or like you, no matter how hard we try. We are too much alive.
*In no way is this article meant to insult, harm, or inflict pain on those who have lost a loved one. It was written for the sole purpose of putting thoughts to paper, with the topic of those thoughts being death. In respect of family and friends, names will not be stated, as this is a delicate subject with the aforementioned.*
No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. – Steve Jobs