12 Oct 2012

Life and Death

Most of you probably know this already from my posts on Facebook, but on Monday 8th my Mom passed away after a short-lived battle with cancer. By the time it was caught it had already spread into her lungs and her condition deteriorated so rapidly that I think it took everyone, doctors and nurses included, by shock. By Sunday night they knew there was nothing they could do for her, so they took off the oxygen mask while she was surrounded by family, gave her some drugs to ease her pain, and let her slip away.

I'm still in shock now, four days later. It feels like it happened to another person, not me. She had only gone into hospital two weeks before, and only diagnosed with lung cancer three days before she died. How a person can go from seeming physically fine, to dead in such a short period of time is very difficult to comprehend.

Over the last few days we've been preparing for the funeral on Tuesday. Those of you who were looking forward to seeing me at GRL, there's no need to panic. I have decided I still want to go, but I will be flying out there a day later than originally anticipated, so I'll be there for Wednesday evening. The time away will be good for me I think, and I'll have plenty of friends there to support me if needed. Anyway, so there's been a lot of talk about death in the family recently, particularly from the relatives and friends that are religious, and it got me to thinking about what life and death is.

Now, I'm not a fan of religion at all. Actually, that's probably a giant understatement. Religion annoys me to no end. I have no problem with people practicing religion, just don't attempt to shove it down my throat. And this goes for trying to comfort me too... saying she's gone to a better place and all that. It is not comforting, because I don't believe in it. All it does is annoy me.

So what do I believe about death? I had a long think about this. Do people just die and that's it? I don't think they do, but I don't believe in the afterlife either. Sure a person's physical body may come, grow up, do some weird shit, and then go, but if all you define a person's life by is their physical existence, then they haven't really lived at all. While a person still physically exists in this world, they become a part of other people... create memories with them, have children, impact people in ways they don't realise. This is their life, and that doesn't go away unless you forget. So in a way, as long as we remember the deceased, they're never really gone. They'll always exist as a part of everyone they ever touched.

I can still hear her now telling me I need to tidy up. I'll do it later, Mom. Right now I need to head to the shops.

4 comments:

Blaine D. Arden said...

While a person still physically exists in this world, they become a part of other people... create memories with them, have children, impact people in ways they don't realise. This is their life, and that doesn't go away unless you forget. So in a way, as long as we remember the deceased, they're never really gone. They'll always exist as a part of everyone they ever touched.

I don't think I've ever heard it said quite so beautifully. And I agree wholeheartedly.

Thank you *hug*

May your mum live on in you and your family.

Aniko Laczko said...

My grandfather died within three days of being diagnosed with acute leukaemia after suffering severe flu-like symptoms for a couple of weeks that weren't getting any better, which is what prompted him to see a doctor. It's always a shock, no matter how much or little time, or even how old the are, to prepare. I think your take on what death is, is beautiful and makes a lot of sense. After all, we're basically just a big mass of electrical impulses, and electricty never truly dies, it's still out there, just changes form. I look forward to meeting you at GRL. And if you're in need of hugs, I'm sure there will be plenty of us willing to oblige. Blaine said it perfectly in her comment: May your mum live on in you and your family.

L.M. Murphy said...

Big, big hugs to you. (If you want them. If not, I send chocolate and goodies instead, yesh?)

You worded it brilliantly - with simple honesty. Your mother has a wonderful family to live on through.

Taylor V. Donovan said...

My father was diagnosed with cancer two years ago. A brain tumor. The most aggressive there is, or so the doctor said. He was gone within two weeks, and in that time he lost his vision, his ability to talk, and to move. We never thought something like that could happen. He was so healthy, you know?

A bit late, cause I had not read this, but I am very sorry to hear your mom passed away.

*hugs*

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