Thinking about Death lately (not suicidal)

BoomygrrlBoomygrrl Curl NeophytePosts: 4,940Registered Users Curl Neophyte
Pretty deep, so proceed with caution.

With the passing of George Carlin and my step-father, who is old and is ill, I have been thinking about life and death. When visiting my father, I was listening to music from musicians who have already passed away. NOt my choice...he was listening to old, big band music.
I couldn't help but think..."how sad, they are not around anymore."
I love living. I'm not suicidal, so I'm not thinking of death in that way. Instead, I dread the idea of dying. I know that once I'm dead my brain will cease to function and I won't know any better. I won't know anything. I guess that's the saving grace behind all of this. I like to think of it...my existence (or lack thereof) will be the same as before I was ever born (or conceived for that matter). It wasn't terrible in the 1960's when I wasn't around (I was born in 1971), and it won't be terrible when I'm not around again.
But I just felt really sad about death last night and only got 2 hours asleep.
It's weird what the brain will do when I have difficulty sleeping. I know what made me think about this last night too. My DH had told me about a wreck in our neighborhood that had killed somebody...I really do think that's what got my brain to think.

I know this is probably a disturbing post. But it really isn't. I'm very much into life and living...and I just wish me, my family, my pets, and everyone else could live forever. And I'm saddened because we will not be.

Uggh. Sorry. Really. I'm looking for words of encouragement from anybody...

I already came up with:
Whether I live only for another day, for another decade, or 60 more years, I am privileged to be alive to begin with. I'm privileged to have met my family and friends. And I should look at it more positively...because the alternative would be to not have been alive to begin with.
That actually helps some. Cherish what we have. Ironically, it's death that can motivate us to make the most of our lives and to give it more meaning.

See, it's not all sadness and depression here. But I really do need more positive statements to combat these anxiety-ridden thoughts.
That's right, I said it! I wear scrunchies!!

I am a sulfate washing, cone slabbing, curly lovin' s.o.b. The CG police haven't caught me yet.
:blob8:

3a/3b

Comments

  • BoomygrrlBoomygrrl Curl Neophyte Posts: 4,940Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Oh yeah, we watched the Rambo movie on payperview and the movie Alexander (based on Alexander the Great and it showed war scenes)...I think my brain was processing all that in such a weird way last night too.

    LOL

    I really don't won't people to think I just sit around and think about death usually. It's not like that at all...but it was so much on my mind last night...so much so, I couldn't sleep until sometime after 5:30a.m. Luckily, I didn't have to wake up as early today, so I got some sleep.
    That's right, I said it! I wear scrunchies!!

    I am a sulfate washing, cone slabbing, curly lovin' s.o.b. The CG police haven't caught me yet.
    :blob8:

    3a/3b
  • Riot CrrlRiot Crrl Posts: 3,135Registered Users
    I am not an internet psychologist (or any other kind). But it strikes me as possibly just normal anxiety about your stepfather's condition, and I don't know whether it's appropriate to call what you have concerning George Carlin a "greiving process" or not, but maybe some sort of "lite" version of one. I hope it eases up for you.
  • RedCatWavesRedCatWaves Curl Connoisseur Posts: 31,259Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I think it's just a matter of your getting older and more mature and realizing that you're not a 10-foot-tall-bullet-proof-20-year-old anymore. You're confronting your own mortality. We only have a short time on this earth. It bothers me to know that my life is probably more than half over now, because I really feel the need to stick around forever and find out how it all turns out. I don't want to leave, ever.

    I was listening to a short interview on NPR the other day, of Patrick Hemmingway, who is Ernest Hemmingway's son. Patrick is 80 years old, and one of the things that he said about being 80 is that he knows he probably won't be around to see 90 and that bothers him. So, I'm not the only one who thinks this way, and neither are you.

    When my mother turned 70, she said she was sad about it. I asked why, and she said because she knew she was getting closer to the end. I said "oh, you have another good 20 or more years left", and she said "20 years goes by in the blink of an eye...it's not enough".

    I agree...it's not enough. But, it's what we have. I try to make the most of my life, and tell each person close to me that I love them, often. I can't live forever, but if someone remembers me, that makes me real. It makes my life worth it.
  • g-stringrannyg-stringranny Posts: 2,701Registered Users
    Being 57, I think more about death. It has become more real for me. Even in my 40's I felt like I would live forever. Watching my Father die also gave me a reality check. I've had a wonderful life, yet there is so much I still want to do. I also know that there are people who will really miss me. I want to be remembered. I think that's how we live on. I work at having a strong bond with my children & grandchildren. I try to do things with them that they will remember fondly after I am gone. I had a wonderful Grandmother. We all called her Granny. She still lives on because she was so giving & gave us so many wonderful memories of her. I feel that death isn't really that bad for the ones who die. It's the ones who are left behind that feel the sadness.
    AKA lotsawaves
    AKA new2curls
  • internetchickinternetchick Posts: 6,191Registered Users
    I have been thinking about death a lot lately too. I think from what is going on with RCW's friend, and my dad turned 69 today. 69! It just can't be. I actually kept having this fear he wasn't going to make it to his birthday.

    I have been thinking about my own death as well, and I don't like the idea of not existing anymore. When will be the last time I hug my kids? Will I live to see great grandchildren? Mostly I wonder if I will have made a difference in anyone's life before I go.
  • yagottaloveyacurlsyagottaloveyacurls Curl Connoisseur Posts: 5,766Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I think you're perfectly human. Who doesn't think about death? Don't worry about sounding morbid or whatever. That's not the case at all.

    For me, though... I don't believe that we cease to exist when we die. So, I'm not sure what help I can be, know what I mean? But it's good to get different views though, I guess. It took me a long time to come to this belief and feel pretty deeply rooted in it.

    disclaimer: These are just my views. I don't like to argue or debate this kind of stuff... I just really don't. We all have a right to our own individual beliefs.


    Everyone has their own path to walk. I'm not what most people would call "religious", but I do believe in an afterlife and I do believe in God. I just think people's views of God are all really, very small and skewed and sometimes really freakin' crazy and hypocritical, etc. But...we're all just human.

    I think we are spiritual beings having a human experience. I think we're here to experience both love and non-love... so that when we go back to our "real" home... we will truly start to understand what love really is.

    I always used to fear death. I had an abnormal fear, I think. I was always scared to death that someone else that I loved was going to die. I would worry myself sick. Now I just really don't fear it. I have a little healthy fear of it, but I'm not terrified or even "very" scared. It's more of a anxious sort of wondering type of feeling. I don't believe in hell. What a total hypocrite God would be if hell were true. Anyway, I absolutely 100% believe that we will see our loved ones who have passed on. Even pets.
    But in what way? I have no clue!! I'm sure things are drastically different. I don't really foresee us having these little families... I don't think anything is going to be what we expect. Our minds are too tiny to comprehend.

    There is so much that doesn't make sense to us... so much. But I think it's supposed to be like this. I think the people who have gone through the worse things in THIS life... I just think, that they are going to be met with such an indescribable joy, that this life will fade, the hurt will fade. but not the experience. It's almost as if...I don't know. Like, the people who have gone through the worst things here on this life will be the most honored in the next life or something. That probably doesn't make sense but I'm not sure how else to describe this feeling I have in my heart. Don't ask me why I believe this so strongly... I just do. So many things in my life have led up to my believing the way I do.

    We're all so unique, though... y'know?

    When death bothers a person, I always kind of see it as a little whisper... a whisper that maybe you're being led onto another path perhaps. Take it where it leads you... Don't go by what other people say is truth. seek it out for yourself.

    I think that whatever religion or non-religion that a person is in... it all comes back to love. It's the only thing we're here to learn. About love. It doesn't matter what religion you're in. Or WHAT you believe, it just doesn't matter.... LOVE is what matters...be you atheist, christian, muslim, wiccan, whatever. To me... LOVE is what matters. I think a lot of people are going to be in for a very pleasant surprise. Love is powerful. More powerful than most people give it credit for..

    Anyway, sorry I rambled so much.
    I hope you find your truth...
    and sending you (( hugs )) because I know what it feels like to have that weird feeling about death.

    peace to ya...
  • fig jamfig jam Posts: 2,555Registered Users
    I think it's the most normal and healthy thing in the world to think about death occasionally. And it's also normal to think about it more as we grow older and our odds grow shorter that death isn't as far away as it used to be.

    Depending on what you believe about what happens to you after you die, thinking about death will cause more or less anxiety. But it's bound to cause some sadness and anxiety no matter what you believe.

    I surely think more about death since (a) getting older and FOR SURE my life is more than half over; (b) finding out my heart has a little problem which might suddenly kill me or might let me live to 90 with no problem, but it's a shocker finding out some really important organ isn't all it was cracked up to be; and (c) my mother's death. Since both my parents are now dead, no one stands between me and death, so to speak. I am now the oldest generation in my family.

    It's sad to think about not being around to see how it all turns out. I enjoy life on earth -- it's all I know!! I worry about dying suddenly and leaving someone (even if it's just my dogs) in the lurch.

    I am not exactly afraid of death, though the unfamiliar is always scary. I believe in life after death, so I am also curious about what happens next and hope it's something even better. I can think of a lot of improvements to suggest to this life . . .

    If I turn out to be wrong about life after death, then I guess I'll just be gone and won't know the difference. So it's kind of a win-win, yes? I hope I get to take what I learned here and apply it somewhere else.

    It's funny you started this thread. Last night I was playing an old song that reminded me of my best friend in high school and college. He committed suicide about 20 years ago, and I miss him sometimes. I was just feeling a bit sad and thinking how it just wouldn't make much sense that people have so many complicated feelings, and go through so much, and learn so many things, and can sit here and contemplate life and death -- and it all just goes nowhere. It's not exactly deep philosophy, but that line of thinking is part of what convinces me that it doesn't all just go nowhere.

    And you know what? 20 years does go in the blink of an eye. Time for sure accelerates the older you get. I'm going so fast now and I can feel myself picking up speed. Whew! What a ride!
    "Tell me, are you incapable of restraining yourself, or do you take pride in being an insufferable know-it-all?"

    "Honey Badger don't care!"
  • yagottaloveyacurlsyagottaloveyacurls Curl Connoisseur Posts: 5,766Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    fig jam wrote: »
    It's funny you started this thread. Last night I was playing an old song that reminded me of my best friend in high school and college. He committed suicide about 20 years ago, and I miss him sometimes. I was just feeling a bit sad and thinking how it just wouldn't make much sense that people have so many complicated feelings, and go through so much, and learn so many things, and can sit here and contemplate life and death -- and it all just goes nowhere. It's not exactly deep philosophy, but that line of thinking is part of what convinces me that it doesn't all just go nowhere.

    Sorry about your friend, fig jam. There were a few people in my high school that committed suicide and I find myself thinking about them from time to time. The older I get, the odder it feels.... Do you know what I mean? Like, man.. if they just would have waited a few years and gotten past those teen years, they would still be here probably. It's a really weird feeling. (( hugs ))

    What you said in the bolded, I always think about that. I always think that maybe all this crazy stuff in life, even the mundane stuff... Everything, ALL of it...there's a reason. I can't wait for everything to snap into place, and for the picture to become crystal clear. It's like ants don't realize where they're at. We're like ants.... and once we die, it's like we're made all huge and we can look around and go... "ohhhhhh..... so THAT's where I was....wow. ok, this is all starting to make sense..." I think it will be similar to that.
    All the suffering and all the joy and all the love and all the hate.... ALL of it, we will be able to see it through a different set of eyes and it will make sense and we'll be able to see it (this life) for what it really was..
    Then we move on.
  • geminigemini Posts: 3,325Registered Users
    I have a lot of the same thoughts you do. The idea that what I know and sometimes take for granted will inevitably come to the end can really be a paralyzing concept. Then, I usually think, I need to make my time matter and get the things done that I want to accomplish--I need to do those SOON!

    I also think I am more preoccupied than most people because my dad died when I was 17. Today I thought about it all day because two co-workers from my office died over the weekend. They both had cancer. One was the facilities manager, so he walked around the office pretty regularly. The other was part of my work team (a dozen people), so we were constantly getting updates from him after he left on short term disability.

    Of all the things we have achieved as humans, what happens after death still remains the great mystery.
  • fig jamfig jam Posts: 2,555Registered Users
    fig jam wrote: »
    It's funny you started this thread. Last night I was playing an old song that reminded me of my best friend in high school and college. He committed suicide about 20 years ago, and I miss him sometimes. I was just feeling a bit sad and thinking how it just wouldn't make much sense that people have so many complicated feelings, and go through so much, and learn so many things, and can sit here and contemplate life and death -- and it all just goes nowhere. It's not exactly deep philosophy, but that line of thinking is part of what convinces me that it doesn't all just go nowhere.

    Sorry about your friend, fig jam. There were a few people in my high school that committed suicide and I find myself thinking about them from time to time. The older I get, the odder it feels.... Do you know what I mean? Like, man.. if they just would have waited a few years and gotten past those teen years, they would still be here probably. It's a really weird feeling. (( hugs ))

    What you said in the bolded, I always think about that. I always think that maybe all this crazy stuff in life, even the mundane stuff... Everything, ALL of it...there's a reason. I can't wait for everything to snap into place, and for the picture to become crystal clear. It's like ants don't realize where they're at. We're like ants.... and once we die, it's like we're made all huge and we can look around and go... "ohhhhhh..... so THAT's where I was....wow. ok, this is all starting to make sense..." I think it will be similar to that.
    All the suffering and all the joy and all the love and all the hate.... ALL of it, we will be able to see it through a different set of eyes and it will make sense and we'll be able to see it (this life) for what it really was..
    Then we move on.

    I know exactly what you mean. I have often thought, "Oh, if you could have just hung on a little longer -- you've missed so much . . . . "

    I liked what you said in your first post about us being spiritual beings having a human life. Sometimes I think my sadness is just a form of homesickness. You know, when you hear a piece of music, particularly just a melody with no sad words, and it makes you feel so sad or just moved . . . what is that? Where does that come from? It's just an ineffable sadness with no explanation, and it feels like homesick. Like something calling to you.

    No one knows the answers yet, but someday we will. Whenever someone dies, I think, "Well, they know now, don't they?"
    "Tell me, are you incapable of restraining yourself, or do you take pride in being an insufferable know-it-all?"

    "Honey Badger don't care!"
  • MiseMise Posts: 346Registered Users
    Boomygrrl wrote: »
    Pretty deep, so proceed with caution.

    With the passing of George Carlin and my step-father, who is old and is ill, I have been thinking about life and death. When visiting my father, I was listening to music from musicians who have already passed away. NOt my choice...he was listening to old, big band music.
    I couldn't help but think..."how sad, they are not around anymore."
    I love living. I'm not suicidal, so I'm not thinking of death in that way. Instead, I dread the idea of dying. I know that once I'm dead my brain will cease to function and I won't know any better. I won't know anything. I guess that's the saving grace behind all of this. I like to think of it...my existence (or lack thereof) will be the same as before I was ever born (or conceived for that matter). It wasn't terrible in the 1960's when I wasn't around (I was born in 1971), and it won't be terrible when I'm not around again.
    But I just felt really sad about death last night and only got 2 hours asleep.
    It's weird what the brain will do when I have difficulty sleeping. I know what made me think about this last night too. My DH had told me about a wreck in our neighborhood that had killed somebody...I really do think that's what got my brain to think.

    I know this is probably a disturbing post. But it really isn't. I'm very much into life and living...and I just wish me, my family, my pets, and everyone else could live forever. And I'm saddened because we will not be.

    Uggh. Sorry. Really. I'm looking for words of encouragement from anybody...

    I already came up with:
    Whether I live only for another day, for another decade, or 60 more years, I am privileged to be alive to begin with. I'm privileged to have met my family and friends. And I should look at it more positively...because the alternative would be to not have been alive to begin with.
    That actually helps some. Cherish what we have. Ironically, it's death that can motivate us to make the most of our lives and to give it more meaning.

    See, it's not all sadness and depression here. But I really do need more positive statements to combat these anxiety-ridden thoughts.

    I could have written this myself! I've been struggling with such thoughts for a few months now. No, I'm in no way ready to check-out yet, but yeah, it's been on my mind since something happened a few months ago.

    No help to add, but just glad to know I'm not the only one.
    Think I'm 3b-ish...maybe some 3a there too...plus wavy roots....I'm just a mixed bag!:D CG since August '05
  • EilonwyEilonwy Curl Connoisseur Posts: 12,391Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    After reading these posts, it sounds like most of you started thinking about living and dying when confronted with ailing, aging parents, and as you yourselves got older. Am I getting the right impression? I started thinking about this at age 12, before any person or animal I'd known had died. I thought that was typical.

    I think it's kind of comforting that our most mundane decisions have incalculable effects on the future. It's really weird to know that the world will go on without you, because for each of us, the whole world exists within our knowledge and emotions and point of view. Yet, your great-great-great-grandchildren probably won't know your name. But the world won't go on without you as though you had never existed, even if it's for something as simple as having drunk pepsi instead of coke last Saturday. I guess this amounts to clinging to my own self-importance, but as I said, it's weird to know that the disappearance of your point of view isn't the end of the world.
  • yagottaloveyacurlsyagottaloveyacurls Curl Connoisseur Posts: 5,766Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Eilonwy wrote: »
    After reading these posts, it sounds like most of you started thinking about living and dying when confronted with ailing, aging parents, and as you yourselves got older. Am I getting the right impression? I started thinking about this at age 12, before any person or animal I'd known had died. I thought that was typical.

    Not at all. I used to think about this stuff as a little kid, just laying in my bed for hours on end not being able to sleep... just laying there..thinking, thinking, thinking...:shock:. :) And it was when my mom died when I was a teenager that I STOPPED thinking about it. I totally just turned my back on the thought of death and what it means, for a few years.
  • yagottaloveyacurlsyagottaloveyacurls Curl Connoisseur Posts: 5,766Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    fig jam wrote: »
    Sometimes I think my sadness is just a form of homesickness. You know, when you hear a piece of music, particularly just a melody with no sad words, and it makes you feel so sad or just moved . . . what is that? Where does that come from? It's just an ineffable sadness with no explanation, and it feels like homesick. Like something calling to you.

    EXACTLY! it feels like homesick. Wow... that's weird. I was just talking to someone about pretty much the same exact thing the other day. We definitely think along the same lines.
    fig jam wrote: »
    No one knows the answers yet, but someday we will. Whenever someone dies, I think, "Well, they know now, don't they?"

    ha.. I think that, too. My grandma died last year and that's one of the first things I thought.
  • SystemSystem Administrator Posts: 39,060 Administrator
    My co-worker's father died very suddenly last week, so this kind of thing is on my mind at the moment. Dying is part of living, but in our society we close it off and pretend it won't ever happen. I greatly respect the work that the hospice people do, not just in supporting dying people and their families, but also in bringing the topic of death out of hiding.

    I remember when my mother was close to the end of her life, we talked a while about her death. She had been through a lot and she wasn't afraid of dying any more. I though of it like taking a journey. You go to the airport, say goodbye to everyone, and go through the security to the waiting area. That's what she was doing then, waiting to take her trip to a new place.
  • 2poodles2poodles Curl Connoisseur Posts: 2,485Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    SuZenGuide wrote: »
    My co-worker's father died very suddenly last week, so this kind of thing is on my mind at the moment. Dying is part of living, but in our society we close it off and pretend it won't ever happen. I greatly respect the work that the hospice people do, not just in supporting dying people and their families, but also in bringing the topic of death out of hiding.

    I remember when my mother was close to the end of her life, we talked a while about her death. She had been through a lot and she wasn't afraid of dying any more. I though of it like taking a journey. You go to the airport, say goodbye to everyone, and go through the security to the waiting area. That's what she was doing then, waiting to take her trip to a new place.[/quote]

    That's a beautiful analogy. My father died from a brain tumor 5 years ago. We brought him and my mom to our home for the last 3 weeks of his life for hospice care. Hospice was wonderful. I do wish I had thought of that analogy, though. The waiting around for him to die after he had slipped into a coma was so hard on everyone.... I do remember my mom telling my dad that he would discover all of the secrets of life before her -- I thought that was sweet.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]2Poodles :flower: Southeast PA
    fine, med porosity, normal elasticity
    Currently using the following 2 - 3 x/week:
    Living Proof Perfect Hair Day suphate-free Poo, cone-free CO and styling treatment, plus KCCC

  • BoomygrrlBoomygrrl Curl Neophyte Posts: 4,940Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Thanks to all who responded so far. I luckily slept well last night and I do feel better today.

    I used to be very religious, but not so much anymore. I do wish I believed for sure that there was an afterlife. It would make this easier on me, I know.
    I don't know what to believe, and it won't take this discussion for me to find out. I have been struggling with my beliefs for years now.
    My family is very religious, and I don't share this anxiety I have with them. Why? Because even though on some level my parents feel this way (they are older and know that their time is limited), they are still comforted with the idea that they will be in heaven after they die.

    My mom is going through a different kind of struggle. My step-father is of a different religion. My mom has sometimes expressed fear that when he dies, he might not go to heaven. (Even though I have doubts about God...I do know that if there is one, this would be very cruel). I assure her that God knows what is best and will do what is best. I think I rather have my anxiety of no existence than the fear of hell...ack!

    Anyways, I didn't want this to turn into a religious discussion, so I'll shut up about that now. There's a religious forum I used to frequent and I'll probably go back to that.

    Someone had mentioned it is harder on the loved ones than the one who died. This seems so true. The one who is dead doesn't know, doesn't feel...it isn't hard on him/her. But then I think about how strong and resilient we are...not to say some of us don't grieve for years...but others of us tend to bounce back soon after a death. To me, that's both good and sad at the same time.

    Oh well, again, I think what gives me comfort is knowing that my "existence" (or lack thereof) will be the same as pre-1970. I think of it this way...I love my nieces, but I remember a time when they didn't exist. Life was okay. They can hear stories about when we (their father, uncle and I) were kids. It's the same thing...and that's not sad. I am so glad they are alive. But the same with me....I can watch old movies before I was even born...or even before my parents were born...and you know what...it was okay.

    So, to make my life "special," I think it's important to live by my values, to helpl others, to make a difference in my corner of the world. If in a hundred years, it doesn't matter one way or another of my existence...well, maybe it did. Maybe I was able to have an impact on someone's life and through that they made a big impact in the world.

    So, I am not of the nihilistic belief of "what's the point?"

    I guess it's more of...I am conscious now...I now know about life...I now experience things...and, although before I was even around, I didn't...now, I can...and it's sad that it will one day be taken away. But, again, when I'm dead, I won't know anybetter, so that's not sad at all.

    Does that make sense?

    Thanks again for all who have responded.
    I guess I'm going to head to a religious forum to get into the deeper, spiritual side of this discussion.
    If anyone else has some words of encouragement or a positive way of looking at this, feel free to chime in.
    That's right, I said it! I wear scrunchies!!

    I am a sulfate washing, cone slabbing, curly lovin' s.o.b. The CG police haven't caught me yet.
    :blob8:

    3a/3b

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Emoji
Image
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file