mortality...

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mortality...

Postby chris » Sun Sep 02, 2007 9:27 pm

as was brought up in another thread, i'd like to bring up a rather serious discussion that each and every one of will have to deal with eventually. mortality. or, perhaps more accurately...how each one of us perceives their own mortality. i am not talking about the eventual demise of our favorite singer/musician/...beatle. for those who are interested in responding, i'd like you to discuss how this word is seen in your world...by your eyes.

without attempting to sound morbid...i'd like to bring up a single fact. that is, we are all going to pass one day. i hope that day is deep in the future for each and every one of us. but that alone does not change the fact that it will indeed, happen to all of us. have any of us considered what may happen? to our loved ones left behind? have we thought about it? are we scared of what may happen? how it may happen?

in another thread, someone brought up the topic of god...and religeon. there were many well considered, well thought replies to that. can someone look forward to dying? can death be embraced with the hope of meeting a higher power. i'd like to think that there is a higher power up there...but am i sure of it, no. what will i leave behind? cash? a trust fund? a cure for some disease that destroys lives and families? a musical legacy?

i am not afraid to die. this is not to suggest that i am looking forward to it either. what i am afraid of, however...is leaving a wife and 3 kids behind, unable to provide for my family. (i have insurance, this is not about insurance) when i allow myself to ponder what if...for me it always comes down to having three children that have to go on without a father. that...is what truly makes me sad. there are lots of children being brought up without a father nowdays. i believe i am a good one, time will let me know if i'm not, surely. but if i only left behind one thing, i'd really like to think that my children thought i did an okay job. i am not saying this to be brave, noble...or honorable. i say it...because it happens to be true.

i believe one should live life to the fullest. to have no regrets...and to live each and every day as if were truly your last. we've all heard these cliche's...but how many of us really live by them? i'd venture to bet not as many of us as we'd like to think.

i have a simple question for each of you. and i'd ask you to be honest with yourselves before you decide to be brave enough to answer it. i believe there are two kinds of people in this world. lets say you are told you have only six months to live. you can wallow in misery for your last days, feeling sorry for yourself...wondering why it had to happen to you. or you can grab life by the horns, live each day with gusto. smell the aromas that surround you. see that sights. not take everything there is in your life for granted. and maybe when its all said and done...be glad that you lived a life worth living.

now i ask you...which one of these choices are you going to make?
I want to tell her that I love her a lot, but I got to get a belly full of wine.
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Re: mortality...

Postby 2 of 3 » Mon Sep 03, 2007 1:26 am

This is a brilliant topic chris...one that has me thinking more and more these days....which is probably why I started the god thread. Personally, I have a lot of regrets....and I'd like to stick around long enough to erase them all...or at least most of them. Just before my father died, we had a long discussion about this very topic. He wondered if he could have been a better father to all of us. I assured him that he was. And he was, there's no denying that. Everything I am, is because of him and the values he instilled in my through just watching and learning from him. A truly honest and honourable man. I strive to be just like him. That is his immortality.
There is line on the new Crowded House album...."the saddest thing that I know, is the passing of time". I can related to that. :salute
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Re: mortality...

Postby EwaldK » Mon Sep 03, 2007 2:13 am

I think that when you pass away, you return to a "normal" or "eternal" status comparable to the time before you were born. I don't believe in that eternal status you have any knowledge on what is going on with your loved ones on earth or you have some way of communicating with those people.

Your personality and earthly awareness/ consciousness only can be alive when your body is alive and your brains are propely functioning, so to speak. I think this makes sense in several ways:
* a baby slowly develops the concept of becoming a consciousness person, it is not there from day 1
* through diseases like dementia (older) people lose their ability to have a consciousness personality, comparably changing to the state of a baby as described above.

Therefor in my opinion it does not make sense to worry if the time you have ahead of yourself alive may be 5 days of 42 years. You can only worry about your earthly deeds as long as you are alive (better said: as long as your brain functions in a normal way).
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Re: mortality...

Postby mervap » Mon Sep 03, 2007 2:34 am

I think I touched on this topic in another thread:

I think anyone starts to wonder about their mortality as one gets older...I remember turning 35 and all of a sudden, I had a couple of major/minor health issues after never having any problems...after a few years of that, a couple of my wife's family relations died youngish. I found myself in a spiral of worry I couldn't seem to pull out of...it was worse when I hit 40. But shortly after, for reasons I still don't understand, I did come around. Maybe it was meeting you all! Maybe it was "Memory", who knows? After that, you just thank God for every day you have, and never forget that there are people who love and care for you...and you try to return that love. Man, that sounds like some lousy self-help book, dudnit?


That sums up a part of it, but isn't as comprehensive as I'd like to be.

It's been said here and elsewhere on these pages that one's father (for guys) is a primary role model. I have spent the better part of my life hoping that I would make better decisions in my life than my Dad did...not in too great detail, Dad left when I was 5 or so...he moved out of state and did not pay his child support...in short, not a great role model. A few years ago, he was hospitalized with a heart ailment and for a while, the outcome was is doubt. I had a discussion with him much like 2 of 3 did his Dad...only when he got to his list of regrets, I had to answer honestly, for he would have seen through a deception. I told him he had not been there for us, that he had skipped out on us, but I wasn't skipping out on him...he told me that my Mom had done her job well....and she done his job even better than he could have. As I looked at him, he seemed so small and frail, and so full of regret. I don't ever want that to be me....

Last December, my wife's Mother passed away with cancer...it was a long battle that took a terrible toll on her physical body....chemo and radiation decimated her hair and her stamina. Through it all, I never heard her complain....I've never seen such a beautiful warrior, so courageous, so life-filled was she. When she passed, it was her wish to not be mourned, but for all those who loved her and whom she loved to gather and to tell stories of her time with them...that day is etched in my memory as a day of joy and gladness, mixed with sorrow that the light had gone....the memorial lasted about an hour and a half and there were many funny stories told, for my Mother-in-law was not a serious woman! We all left smiling and remembering a person who had a life well-lived. That's how I'd like to be...

Who really knows what death holds for us all? For all we know, it may be the winking of an eye...it may be Heaven everlasting...who truly knows? I'm not afraid of death...I'm afraid of opportunities lost, opportunities to be helpful for other people, to be the best example I can be for my family, to be the best friend and mate for my wife. When I die, all of those opportunities will be over for me...one must try to take as many of those moments as one can and savor them....

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Re: mortality...

Postby chris » Mon Sep 03, 2007 10:24 am

you know the person who can always come up with something slightly ironic, or silly, or witty at just the right time to lighten an otherwise somber or depressing mood? that (occasionally) is me. however...when someone passes, either someone i know or someone close to someone i know, i have nothing, nada, zip to say. i have no words of comfort for a grieving freind that i can offer. i only have the dreadfully generic "i am sorry for your loss".

why is this? is it because it bothers me to see a friend in mourning? how can a person with the ability to speak eternally...about nearly anything have no genuine words of comfort for someone who needs them most? am i alone on this?

is there anything to say? is it better to say nothing than to offer unsure words of sympathy?
I want to tell her that I love her a lot, but I got to get a belly full of wine.
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Re: mortality...

Postby 2 of 3 » Mon Sep 03, 2007 10:58 am

chris...in my experience, just being there is the main thing. It tells something positive to the family, when they see this support. People showed up at my Dad's that I hadn't seen in years...it was amazing. My buddies didn't really have to say much..."hey man" with a handshake was fine...even that "man hug" thing is a good choice. :) I also found that "if there's anything I can do, let me know" works too. Especialy when you mean it. :lol: After that initial breaking of the ice, normal conversation just takes over.
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Re: mortality...

Postby mervap » Mon Sep 03, 2007 11:08 am

I would echo 2's insight on that...there's something about that physical proximity and the pledge of support that is a great comfort...it's kinda like those stories I've read about elephants. I read that when there is an elephant that is sick or lame that others in the herd will come up alongside and actually physically help support the sick individual...and try to protect it from predators. Closing ranks and that sort of thing...

As for the "witty" comment, some folks don't understand that humor is a great coping mechanism, at least for me. Thank God my wife understands that....when her Mom passed, I said that God needed some good cookin'. Not only did she understand, she was kind enough to laugh! :wink:
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Re: mortality...

Postby mommasturn » Mon Sep 03, 2007 4:57 pm

I am wondering if the elephant thing is what so many of us are lacking? A close family to support us and hold us up? I am extremely fortunate to have great in-laws and a big family back home. But I mean the tribal family that lives together or very close by. (Ethnic families still do it. Is it just americans that feel they must support themselves and deserve to be "free" of obligations to extended family?)

As far as mortality goes, I have very few regrets in my life and they are things that are in the past I have asked forgiveness for and no longer dwell on. I believe in the carrying on of family traditions and names. Thses things help to carry on life for all to remember those who have passed.

And to answer the original question, I am going to say I will live to the fullest. However if actually told I am not going to be here to see my kids get married or to become a grandparent, that I would be leaving so many things behind for my family to manage without me. I just may go into a big depression. I hope I would be able to carry on and not let anyone know that something was up. Unfortunately, I am way to emotional to be able to do that.

I have actually thought about this in the past. In my dreams, I would take my whole family on a great vacation and have the best time with them. But then I would return and be very busy putting things in order so all was done ahead of time.

One of my favorite people ever was my grandma, she passed away about 3 years ago. All arrangements were taken care of years before she passed. I remember thinking wow, she is still taking care of us.

I had a few tough moments last year, I was in a bit of a funk for quite a while. THen a few things happened and I realized I can be who I want to be. I don't need to wait for my kids to move out before I enjoy grown up things again. I have become so much more open-minded and relaxed about most aspects in my life. I have had the best summer I can remember in many years. I feel like a young person again. My hubby is so glad for it and my teenage daughter even told me I was fun on vacation last week.

My world is not perfect, but I am making the most of it every chance I get. I suggest you all do the same while you are able, things can always get worse, but you can make things better too.
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Re: mortality...

Postby 2 of 3 » Mon Sep 03, 2007 5:10 pm

I am wondering if the elephant thing is what so many of us are lacking?



Nah....I'd better not go there. :lol:
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Re: mortality...

Postby mommasturn » Mon Sep 03, 2007 5:19 pm

NO 2 of 3 That part is not lacking at all! :wink: That part is both fine and dandy! At least for me and mine.

I won't speak for you, but hey you can always watch hockey if your lonely, right :lol:
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