It’s weird how my perspective on something can shift in the matter of a day.
Here are three events that happened that made me think about death this week.
1. Paul Walker’s death
Recently, the star of all of ”The Fast and the Furious” films died in a car accident. Yeah, I get it. It was sad, he was young and the way he went was tragically ironic. What bothered me, though, were the Facebook posts from my friends about how torn up they were about it. Personally, I had more important things on my mind that mattered, namely, my good friend’s 4 year old son’s second kidney transplant that was happening and how traumitized the little kid gets before each surgery and the following pain he would have to face. Why was everyone so upset about Paul Walker? Because he was hot and famous? I didn’t know the guy. Was he a good person? Was he a good father? Was he of service to the world? Later in the week, I found out that he started dating his girlfriend when he was 33 and she was only 16. So, yeah, I wasn’t all that torn up that another pedophile was wiped off the face of the Earth. I saw his death as Evolutionary Psychology.
2. Scary Stories on the Silver Screen
On Wednesday, I found out that this book series that I read as a child, called “Scary Stories” was going to be made into a movie. I have no idea why my parents thought it would be a good idea to buy these books for me, because they pretty much traumatized me. One particular chapter, ”The Hearse Song,” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hearse_Song, talked about what happens to your body after you died and it really freaked me out. I would have panic attacks at night, laying in bed, knowing I couldn’t get up otherwise my parents would be really pissed at me, thinking that essentially that’s it feels like after you die. You’re fully conscious of everything that’s going on, but paralyzed, six feet under, in a very dark casket, aware of the worms eating your body. On Thursday, I talked to my therapist about this feeling I had as a child and she asked me when I stopped thinking death was going to be like that. I told her my best guess was when I was in the sixth grade and my so-called friends bullied me and I started wishing I were dead that I had stopped fearing it. My therapist asked me what I thought today happens when you die. I told her, “Nothing. It’s the end. Nothing happens. I cease to exist”
3. Dennis Blake’s Death
On Friday, I heard that a friend from the rooms suddenly, unexpectedly, passed away in his sleep. He was younger than my parents by a few years, and while I wasn’t extremely close to him, he was a great guy, and I really liked him. It was sad and shocking to hear, but overall, I can see the big picture and accept that death is just another facet of life, and there really wasn’t anything I could do that could change what would happen. I’ve known Dennis for coming up on six years. He would always share about his wife that passed away before I had come into the rooms, and how much he loved her and missed her. While, I had never let the lady, hearing Dennis and his stepson share about her, I knew she must have been a true lady of recovery that I would have respected. As soon as I heard the news on Friday, it was while processing Dennis’ death that I started hoping that, at least for him (I don’t even need this to be true to myself, but just hoping and wishing that for him, that there was something after death, where he could finally be with his wife that he loved so much. I went to his funeral today. I didn’t think I would, but I cried. It was sad. It was sad to see the people who loved him so much, really upset. I went to pay my respects to the family, and hoping there would be answers, if anything maybe like affirmation that he was in fact, now with his wife. Dennis’ two stepsons made mention of it, but it still wasn’t really enough proof for me, and it still seems like this big existential question I keep thinking about knowing that I may never know the answer. But I do really, truly, honestly hope for Dennis that he’s with his wife. And for the past six years, I know that when I hope and wish and pray and have love for other people that eventually it turns into a smidge of returned feelings that I have for myself, so while I’m confused and sad now, I know that this experience is just another thing that will essentially help me learn, grow, and love myself more.
So, maybe, even if there isn’t some after life or heaven or whatever religion can come up, maybe moments that I had after someone’s death does spark a new thought or just the experience alone within someone else brings about a new life after any death. So, if anything, I can comfort myself with that thought for now that at least there will be something after my own death that would make me happy.