The DEATH Thread ...

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kelleyiskelley Posts : 11,590 Registered: 7/2/06
The DEATH Thread ...
Posted: May 20, 2009 12:39 PM

Yes, I know. Its a bit dark. But I have wanted to start a thread like this for a long time.
A thread where we can all talk about Death. Analyze it, discuss it, or just question things. Also - everyone deals with death and losing someone. Often times we see threads on here saying "My grandmother died" or whatever. I think it would be really neat and nice even, to have a thread or a place like this where people can post about whatever Death situations they are dealing with; so its all in one place. And when we lose someone, we can post in here about their life - and celebrate it and honor them in that way.

My Nana is dying right now from stage 4 lung cancer. She is 85 and was always THE life of the party; a typical large in every way Italian fiesty woman. She recently moved into my parents house (this is my mom's mother), and she will live out her last days there. The doctors had her dead over 2months ago, but she has hung on and so far, has an average quality of life with intermittant pain, which she gets morphine for. At first, due to Nana's tendancy to be overdramatic and get depressed easily, my mom and her siblings chose not to tell her how dire the situation was, thinking she would have more hope that way and not give up. But recently a hospice nurse was brought in and suggested they tell her, so they did. Since then, after crying for a day, she has started to make jokes about her upcoming demise and its quite funny. She is ordering us all around about what specific things she wants and doesnt want at her funeral; from which dress she wants to be laid out in to what music to play, to what kind of emotions we should all have. "You should cry for me of course, but dont make it too sad. Make sure you cook all my favorite foods when everyone gets together afterwards. " She recently broke it off with her 85yr old boyfriend after a falling out...( I know - hilarious - Im telling you this woman is hysterical.) and he doesnt know she is sick because she wont let us tell him. Just the other day she told my mom "You better not tell Al that Im sick. Im serious. Tell him -- but wait til I die. I want him to feel bad." LOL. She is nuts. But I noticed that she is dealing with death in much the same way that I always have - with jokes.

Her illness has made me start thinking about Death more and more; and why people feel the way they do about it. I have always been fascinated and terrified of death. Always. When I was a kid and most kids would have nightmares about monsters, I would have them about people dying, or me dying. I dont know why. In college, I went through a period of time where I was really afraid of being alone, especially at night. As soon as I would try to sleep, I would start thinking about death. Why do we die? What if my parents die, what the hell would I do? I love them so much, I cant even imagine life without them here. What if I died? What is the point of it all? Why do some people get to live to be 100 with no health problems, while others get killed randomly by a drunk driver at age 30? And why do people cheat death? And others dont? And whyis it that so many people are able to accept death as part of life, and leave it at that? That is what fascinates me most of all. That most people just accept the idea of death. I never have. I have never accepted it. I will admit that even though I KNOW its silly and absurd to think this, sometimes Ill think to myself "If only there was a way to beat death." I want to somewhere conquer it and figure out how not to die. Absurd. But true.

I also find it fascinating what others think about what happens to us AFTER we die. For me, I have a really hard time believing anything at all happens. I think that we just die, and thats it. Life is over, we live on in peoples hearts and in their memories of us and what we did with life. That is what I believe. I also find the connection between religion and death pretty interesting. I think if you believe in God and the idea of Heaven; then death is much easier to accept. As for me, I guess Id call myself atheist. I believe there is something out there -- some kind of presence, or God, or spirit. Something. But thats about as far as I go with it. I dont believe in or follow the Bible and I dont particularly like organized religion. I just think people should believe whatever gives them hope, and thats it. And I get upset when someone close to me dies,and people say things like "It was their time." Or "god has a plan" -- really? It was their TIME at age 20? Or 10? god had a plan for them to suffer luekemia and then die? I just dont believe that, and its NOT a comfort for me at ALL when people say things like that to me. Also "hes ina better place." I dont know if I believe that either. I think under the ground is not a better place. I dont believe in Heaven and Im not sure how I feel about afterlife, etc. Bottom line is - it sucks when someone dies. Nothing people say will really change that, but when people say things that make the assumption that Im religious, that can often times make it worse for me.


I also believe that some religious people find themselves that way because its a comfort. And this is just an opinionand observation, not a judgement. Its a comfort to think and have Faith that there is MORE than just this. That there is a Heaven and a place where we meet those we have lost. I think that some people choose to believe that because its comforting to believe that. Whereas what I believe is extremely depressing. That we are just dirt and nothing happens. Which is, of course, why it horrifies me. I have TRIED to make myself believe there might be more, but I just dont. I just dont feel that way, and I cant fake that. Sometimes I wish that I did believe that, because it would be a lot easier to believe that way. I get my comfort from knowing that we have to live every day and second like its the last one; because life is a Gift and its random and cruel and beautiful and wonderful and terrible all at once. So you have to just live. But I will say that the very idea of just one day NOT EXISTING ANYMORE and being gone --- scares the crap out of me. It really does. There have been times in the middle of the night where I have that thought -"one day I wont be here" - and my heart practically stops. I have to shake my head and force the thoughts out of there. Its frightening. And I wonder, am I the only one who is terrified of death? People seem to accept it blindly, and I have never been able to. Im always questioning it. I find the ideaof growing old very depressing, because all you are doing is losing others one by one, until everyone you know is GONE. That depresses me. I just wish we could all live forever and not have to randomly not exist anymore one day lol. Im going to invent the DEATH STOPPER and then youll all see!!! lol.

I hope this thread doesnt depress people. I am REALLY fascinated by othersopinions and how they view death and what theyquestion, etc, so hopefully it can be used as a really interesting discussion that we can all take something from.

And also to honor those who we have each lost. Post pictures of them, or talk about them. Those of you missing your parents or friends or siblings, or whoever, come in here and talk about them. I just think it will be a lot more comforting and more REAL than the same "Im sorry for your loss" posts we usually get when someone dies.

So on that note -- here are a few pictures of my Nana so I can honor her while she is still here. I call her at my parents house everyday. When I talked to her today, she picked up the phone and said "Im not dead YET- surprised?" LOL.


with my new nephew Brian.


with brian and my mom at the house mothers day weekend.







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ginmal Posts : 396 Registered: 1/11/08
Re: The DEATH Thread ...
Posted: May 20, 2009 12:52 PM Go to message in response to: kelleyiskelley

Ok. So I just lost a friend last Tuesday. His name was Rick. He was in my grade all through school (well since 6th grade when I moved here to Florida) and he was with a friend Andrea (who was in my sisters grade in school) I didn't know her very well, but my sister did. Both very good people. They were driving along at 4pm in the afternoon and Rick lost control of his truck, it flipped numerous times and they were both ejected and killed. Very sad. He was 27, she 25. A waste of two perfectally good human beings.
Now, I do not believe in God, nor do I even agree with organized religion. I do not believe that we just die and that's it. We are our souls and our souls are energy. After we die I believe that our energy is free to roam. Our bodies are merely a vessel for our souls, but our souls never truly die. If that makes sense.
I do not want to die, and do not like the thought of dying. I don't want to leave my family, especially my daughter. Little girls need thier mommies at all ages. I want to see her grown and go to prom, and send her off to college, watch her gradute, fall in love, get married, have children. I want to be there for all of that.
Now, the thought of growing old scares the shit out of me. I would consider myself an attractive female, and more times than not people think I am younger than my age (and I am only 26). I do not like the thought of loosing my looks. Shallow as that may sound, and I know beauty is only skin deep (I do however know I am a great person). It just scares me.

Bless your own day, leave mine alone!Innocent

 

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kelleyiskelley Posts : 11,590 Registered: 7/2/06
Re: The DEATH Thread ...
Posted: May 20, 2009 1:04 PM Go to message in response to: ginmal

thanks for replying Gin, and Im really sorry about your friend, that is awful. Thats exactly why I think its just all random -- people that young shouldnt be driving along and then dead. It is a freak accident, and I dont think you can put any more meaning behind something like that. As far as what you believe happens after death; I think I understand what you are saying, but not sure. I find it fascinating though, the idea of being a spirit. What does that look like, or feel like? Im just curious how that is different than what I said about living on in other peoples memories and hearts? Is it something more than that? Just honestly curious if you can further try to explain what a spirit feels like to you.

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adrigirl01 Posts : 287 Registered: 10/2/08
Re: The DEATH Thread ...
Posted: May 20, 2009 1:17 PM Go to message in response to: kelleyiskelley

This thread actually popped up at a good time for me. I too have someone in my family who is dying who is several states away in Texas. The prognosis (is that what it's called?) is not so specific, but she is not handling her situation well. I say she's dying because she wants to die. She broke her ankle a few months ago and her condition deteriorated from there. Her sister flew down there perhaps a little over a month ago and may be coming back soon. She's my dad's aunt. She's beginning to lose her mind. I won't go into all of it, but I'll sum it up: her sister is afraid to go to sleep some night's for fear she'd going to try to kill her, she's intentionally gotten herself down to 91 pounds, and I believe she's around 5'4", she a sack of bones. She recently thought her brother who died several years ago was alive, she's paranoid her sons are trying to sell the house out from under her, she asked her boyfriend for many years (I think they're both in their 80s) and her sons to get her a gun, then when they said no the next day she said she was going to catch herself on fire. She accuses her honey who she'd been with for years who I consider my uncle of cheating on her, when he treats her like a queen. Although I'm not especially an advocate for putting older people in homes, this is a case where I think it's needed. My family is not equipped to deal with a person like that and she's dangerous. She needs to be, in my opinion, institutionalized if she's making others feel endangered.
Anyway, enought about that. I do believe there's an afterlife. Of course I've questioned it at times, I think most go through a time in their life where they wonder or have doubts. However, for me, there have been too many things that have happened in my life for it to be just coincidence (certain chains of events, life-saving incidents, and other miracles). However, that sometimes doesn't completely comfort me, sometimes, but not always. Sometimes I wonder if I'll be good enough to go to heaven....but because of what the Bible teaches I generally don't worry about that because it says that all you have to do is accept Jesus, and I've done so, so my sins are supposed to be covered for life (I still pray and attempt not to be sinful but no human is perfect). What I find least comforting about it is if Christianity is completely right (as in the Bible is without mistake...sometimes I wonder. I believe in God and that Jesus was our saviour, I just don't know how much in the Bible was left out due to political reasons by the Catholic church way back when), that means many of my loved ones will not be in heaven with me, and that has broken me down to tears before. I don't want to leave any loved ones behind. I won't go into talking about the alternate destination simply because the thought of it scares me
When it comes to those phrases you were mentioning you don't like, sometimes those are what I say to myself if I think it's true. I don't know that I've ever told anyone that who was grieving a lot; I talked like that to FH and my sister when my mom's pastor died, but with them the phrases were appropriate. I don't often say it to others because I don't know their belief system and therefore I don't want to make the heartbreak harder for them. One phrase that I do think is okay (although I don't know that I've used it) is saying that at least the person isn't suffering anymore. Some people have horrible, painful days near the end where they just want it to be over--sometimes I think it's okay to feel that sort of relief for a person.
I don't know where I stand on ghosts. I'm wishy-washy about them. I believe in spirits such as angels and demons, I just don't know about ghosts. I've been taught that you're dead in the ground until Jesus comes, but there seems to be a lot of evidence to support their existence, but of course there's the theory that says they're actually demons who are impersonating people. I don't know. Maybe this is opening up unwanted discussion, lol. I was just going to say I don't understand it when people believe in ghosts, but not the afterlife. I also am fairly superstitious...but I think I'll save that for another thread because I don't want to fill this with stuff that isn't actually about the afterlife and death.

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savex389 Posts : 506 Registered: 8/10/07
Re: The DEATH Thread ...
Posted: May 20, 2009 1:20 PM Go to message in response to: ginmal

Death terrifies the hell out of me! And I think the reason why is because of the religion that I was brought up in. I was always told that when we die we go before God and we're judged, some have also said that we watch a "movie" of our life with everyone and I dont want people watching me do some of the bad things I've done in my life. I also don't want to live on forever like they say you do after you die, truthfully I just want to die and leave it at that.

Right now I'm not agreeing with the religion so I'm not practicing it, I do think there is a higher being but thats about it, but death still scares me. Will it hurt? What does it feel like? I dont want to go through that.

I lost my grandma when i was in 10th grade and my grandpa when I was in 12th, both deaths were very hard on me. I hate death and wish there was a way I didn't have to die.

Thinking about my parents/sister/husband dying makes me go nuts, I just start bawling and feel so miserable. I cant think of going through life without them.

Like Gin I'm scared of growing old, I'd have to say I'm pretty shallow and I enjoy looking good also I dont want to have to slow down and take it easy. My grandma is in remission from breast cancer and it has slowed her down a lot, she walks slow, talks slow and forgets things very easily. She also needs help with a ton of things she didn't need help with before, she also falls a lot now and cant get up so my dad has to go help her. I always want to be independent and just like I am now but I know there's no way I can live like this forever. I just hope death and old age take a while to find me.

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DoesntPlayNice Posts : 809 Registered: 12/17/08
Re: The DEATH Thread ...
Posted: May 20, 2009 1:41 PM Go to message in response to: kelleyiskelley

Awesome thread idea

I want a disclaimer first....I really REALLY SUCK at consoling people when it comes to death maily because I have never had to experience anyone close to me dying. so if I do not comment on something that someone posted it isnt because i am insensative....it is because I usually make the situation worse and say the wrong thing!

Anyway....my first time having to deal with the thought of my own possible death came when we were told by my commander that we had to write a death letter before we went to Iraq. A death letter is a letter you write in case you die that gets sent to whoever you designate to basically tell them anything you would want to tell them before you died.

I REFUSED to do it. I just thought that by writing that letter I was sealing my death and I wasn't going to do that.

Previously Posted as Military Bride.

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When POOP can't do it alone....they call for the ENEMA.

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kelleyiskelley Posts : 11,590 Registered: 7/2/06
Re: The DEATH Thread ...
Posted: May 20, 2009 1:59 PM Go to message in response to: DoesntPlayNice

DPN: I totally understand that mentality lol. I think I would feel the same way, as if, by writing that letter, I am somehow going to die the second I send it off. Thats creepy. A death letter, wow. Thats gotta be an awful thing to write or even think about. I feel like that when it comes to wills too. Im terrified ot sit downand write one because then I might die lol. Its soooo irrational and I KNOW that, but I cant help but think it.

Ad: I think saying to someone "at least shes not suffering anymore" is definately appropriate. Thats the worst part of seeing someone sick like that, watching them inpain and knowing you have to just let go and let THEM go so they wont be in pain anymore. Its awful with pets too. I tear up everytime I think of how much pain our cat was in before she died. Ugh.

My dad has a very dry senseof humor and always jokes about his own death. He always says, when talking about caskets and funeral arrangements and such, "Ah just dig up some ground and stick me in a coffee can." I HATE when he says this because again, I just hate even thinking of him dying. But he seems very at peace with the fact that people die. And again, that fascinates me to no end, how certain people are just accepting of it and dont seem to fear it. My dad is definately that way, and hes not religious at all, hes just at peace with the idea of someday being gone. Im soooooo not.


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cyndi33 Posts : 2,585 Registered: 1/3/07
Re: The DEATH Thread ...
Posted: May 20, 2009 2:10 PM Go to message in response to: savex389

Save, were you raised seventh day adventist? Cause that is exactly what they taught us, the judgment and then movie part, and it scared the crap out of me!!

It'll take some time to reply to the thread, want to put some thought into it. I have watched some people die, though, and it had a profound affect on me. Don't want to do that again but also, depending on who, wouldn't want to miss those moments either.

 Proud Member of P.O.O.P.,  People Offended by Offended People

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PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: The DEATH Thread ...
Posted: May 20, 2009 2:15 PM Go to message in response to: cyndi33

I'm with Cyndi. I want to reply to this thread, but I want to really formulate what I'm going to say.

Especially as I'm not sure what I believe.

 

 

 

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kelleyiskelley Posts : 11,590 Registered: 7/2/06
Re: The DEATH Thread ...
Posted: May 20, 2009 2:30 PM Go to message in response to: PharmToxGirl

See,Pharmtox,I think thats about the most honest and genuine thing any of us can say about death, is that "Im not sure what I believe." Because I dont care what religion you are or what your Bible says or if youre Catholic, Muslim, Atheist or whatever else... bottom line is nobody knows for sure what happens to us after we die. Nobody. So you cannot convince me that you know. Because you dont. If you are a religious person, than whatever you believe is what you have been taught, but in the end, its just a belief; an opinion. So I think to be able to say that you honestly do not know --- is , in a way, sort of a comfort. Sometimes just the act of thinking about it and of all the possibilities that death COULD be or not be --- gives me some comfort.Its a biggiant mystery and really, thats kind of freakin cool. Its the one thing that binds us all and the one thing none of us will ever know for sure about until it happens to us. And maybe not even then.

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"Children are just like adults, minus the crushing failure." - Stephen Colbert



Edited by: kelleyiskelley on May 20, 2009 2:31 PM

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DoesntPlayNice Posts : 809 Registered: 12/17/08
Re: The DEATH Thread ...
Posted: May 20, 2009 2:32 PM Go to message in response to: kelleyiskelley

I had no problem writing a will...that is the responsible thing to do. But writing a death letter wasn't something I was interested in.

Now being over in Iraq I did have a moment where I thought I was going to die. We were getting attacked with Mortars and I was in my Hummer and saw them coming closer and closer. I stopped and I prayed for my life. I had never prayed so hard EVER. My life didn't flash before My eyes or anything BUT I knew there was a higher power and that is all I needed to focus on at that time.

Previously Posted as Military Bride.

CEO of E.N.E.M.A. (Enemy Negotiations & Extraction Military Agency) A special Division of P.O.O.P. (People Offended by Offended People)

When POOP can't do it alone....they call for the ENEMA.

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adrigirl01 Posts : 287 Registered: 10/2/08
Re: The DEATH Thread ...
Posted: May 20, 2009 2:38 PM Go to message in response to: kelleyiskelley

Kelley--I have to agree about the not knowing part. I strongly believe in my Christian faith, but I'm also logical and know that nobody can KNOW (unless they've already passed and found the truth). I get in that argument with people. I truly believe, but when my friend and I discussed with her mom that nobody can truly KNOW, it definitely started a bit of an argument "if you don't know, then you're not going" blah blah blah. But it's true. There is not one live person who genuinely knows. Which reminds me of how it annoys me about how different divisions of Christianity argue about the Bible and thinks other churches are just wrong about how they interpret the Bible. What do I have to say to that? "Did you write the Bible? No. And I highly doubt you're God." Many of them are such petty differences anyway. That was a bit of a tangent, I suppose.

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kelleyiskelley Posts : 11,590 Registered: 7/2/06
Re: The DEATH Thread ...
Posted: May 20, 2009 2:51 PM Go to message in response to: adrigirl01

Exactly Adi. You can say you believe strongly, or that you have Faith; or even that your faith means you dont question it and simply "believe" it as fact --- but the second you start acting as if anything you say, do, or believe is fact,or start judging the way others choose to live and what they believe based on your beliefs; thats when you lose me.

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"Children are just like adults, minus the crushing failure." - Stephen Colbert

  

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lori83 Posts : 1,852 Registered: 3/30/06
Re: The DEATH Thread ...
Posted: May 20, 2009 2:51 PM Go to message in response to: kelleyiskelley

Thanks for starting this thread Kelly. I haven't been here in a while and I am glad you mentioned it to me on fb. I wish I knew your Nana. She sounds like a wonderful lady. I tend to try and joke about death too. I tell my husband to just put me in the burn barrel when I go because I want to be cremated but I think the cost of that is so stupid. Then I want to be mixed with sand and made into sand art. My daughter says she will add glitter. Really kinda morbid but I am scared to death of death and this is how I deal.

As some of you know my mom is not well. We don't know if we will have years with her or just days. She has declined rapidly in the past year and could decline even more and still hang on for years. She has a very hard time speaking and being understood which really is the hardest thing for me. There is so much that I know she wants to say and just can't. She can't write either and that makes me so sad.

Last time I went to visit her (Sunday) she gave me her Mother's ring. I was warned by my sister (thankfully) that this was her plan to give me that ring. She tried to a couple months ago. I told her then that I understand that she wants me to have it but that I want her to keep it and wear it for as long as she can and wants to. She has worn that ring every day since she got it some 40 years ago. I reassured her that I would not forget that I am to have it. That day she put it back on her finger. The other day when she took it off and gave it to me I asked if she was sure she wants me to have it now. She nodded yes. My dad said she worries about it. So hopefully my taking it gives her one less thing to worry about. I had not until then realized how really small her fingers are. It must be a size 5 or smaller. I am a 5 1/4 and I can only get it on my pinky finger.

As for after death I really have no idea what to think. I was brought up that if I am not saved I will go to hell. Honestly though some of the people that I know that claim to be saved if they are going to heaven I don't want to be there with them. I guess I think that I will make my own resting place when I leave this place. I will be with the people who have passed that I want to be with. Animals too of course. As for those that haven't passed I hope I will in some way also be able to stay connected to them.

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IslaBonitaBride Posts : 82 Registered: 2/4/09
Re: The DEATH Thread ...
Posted: May 20, 2009 3:14 PM Go to message in response to: lori83

I don't have anything intelligent to contribute to this thread. But I wanted to ask Kelly if anyone has ever told you that you really look like your Nana?

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