Friday, July 17, 2009

On Life and Death

I started my morning with my parents' equivalent of coffee and a newspaper. I had coffee and blogs. I stopped over at one of my favorites to see what Lindsay had to say. I really enjoy her straightforward take on the topics and her post from yesterday was about death, the media, and the Internet. It got me thinking about my outlook own death, now be prepared it is not like most peoples.
I will start by saying what I always have; I feel like I was born at a funeral. I grew up with a large extended family and it seemed as though there a very few moments in my life that were not punctuated by a death.
By the time I was 13 I was convinced I was cursed, that the result of my caring about someone was that they would ultimately die and leave me. I didn't know the half of it, it only got worse. I can now .. knock on wood say; I have only lost one person dear to me in the last few years so it seems as death is giving me some time off.
Are you afraid to die? I typically answer this question with " Hell No, I get to rest when I'm dead." I don't think that death itself is the problem, its the ones that are left behind with the emptiness and pain of missing you that is most difficult. I think that all we can do is try leave those that we love and that love us with as many good memories as possible. I talk openly with my kids about death, I don't want them spending their lives afraid to enjoy themselves for fear of death or something terrible happening. We all die and the dying isn't whats important it's the living that we did in between birth and death that matters most. I have threatened everyone that I know with haunting if they give me some horribly depressing send off. I have demanded that there be a full on party with open bar, endless food and tons of music. I want no tears and no regrets. I plan on putting this in writing and have an enforcer appointed to ensure things go the way I want. Lets face it have a touch of the control freak so there is no sense in letting death be the thing that changes that.
I don't want some sappy obituary about how I was a wonderful wife, daughter and mother, because that is not always true. I have my faults. There are days when I yell too loud, I'm too bossy and I am definitely no June Cleaver. I want all of my friends to sit around and do what we do best, laugh so hard we nearly pee our pants. I know this isn't for everyone but its how I feel because all the crying and grieving and locking yourself in a dark room doesn't bring someone you love back. I am not say that there is no room for sadness because there is. But the best way to honor those you love and have lost is to live the life that you have left to the fullest and make every moment count.