Born Terminal

Recently I attended three funerals in one week. Each deceased person was different in so many ways, e.g., age, interests and family unit left behind. But one thing was consistent, each left a hole in the hearts of those surviving. When someone we know dies we are usually shocked. We use words that mask the reality of death. He or she has “passed, gone on or left us” when in fact the person is dead. How we fear that word and that reality. Why is it so hard to accept that we are all born terminal. We will all die. This is no way negates the loss and pain of losing a person we care about but if we could at least acknowledge that life ends for each person surely we would be better prepared for our own death as well as that of others.

We need to move beyond “if something happens to me” to “when I die.” It is inevitable.


Photo by Pixabay

5 thoughts on “Born Terminal

  1. I struggle with the concept on an emotional level, yet on an intellectual level, know that you are right. As a Daddy girl, I cried uncontrollably when Dad died in 1981. Every Saturday, I would go to Calvary Cemetery and cry over his grave…. Then one day, a strange thing happened. A marker had gone up and I found that I had been sobbing at someone else’s grave. Then, I heard my dad cackling two graves over and I never went back. Still miss him terribly,yet have moved on. In a related story, he died at 2:30 AM on a Thursday. We went to the funeral home at 8:00 to make arrangements. We were sobbing and Mom told Mr Ratterman that she wanted him laid out Thursday evening, all day Friday, and his Mass on Saturday. Without realizing what he was saying, he told us, “He’ll have to be buried by noon because we only have a skeleton crew that works at the cemetery on Saturday”. We went from sobbing to laughing hysterically in seconds…What other kind of crew would you have but a skeleton crew? Anyway, you are right. We all have expiration dates….

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  2. I have always preferred “died” to the other choices of words. For some reason that fits for me and it also reminds me of plants that die but then often a new plant sprouts forth.

    You are certainly right that our time is limited and it is important to live each day as if it is your last — have your paperwork in order and enjoy each day for its own special beauty. We might have 20 more years or we might have only one day. None of us know.

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  3. Also I think of the quote I read one time. In summary it states that if God came to you and told you that you could choose to a person in your life only a certain number of years or not at all, we would certainly choose he limited number of years over not at all.

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  4. I suppose part of the reason people can’t face it is because no one knows what’s beyond. As a cousin told me, “Death is the end. You just cease to exist.” If people could/would really grasp that death is a stepping out of one world and into another, we might indeed give the matter a lot more thought.

    Liked by 1 person

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