My teenage grandson is terrified of me dying. He mentions it often, usually when we’re alone, and I try to alleviate his fears with my own spiritual take on it, that we’ll be connected forever, or with a scientific take on it, we share DNA, we’ll totally be connected forever, but in the end, he gets a bit upset that I’m getting older.
I remember sobbing, my head on my maternal grandmother’s lap, when she would talk about her will or her wishes for after her death, her concerns for my parents and for us, her wish that her oldest daughter and that daughter’s children would speak to her, I didn’t want to hear about it, talk about it or think about it.
I very much have a Scarlett O’Hara attitude about my own grief, taking an approach of “I’ll think about it later” rather than being in the now. Yes fuckers, mindfulness is extremely difficult for me, thanks for bringing up a tender subject! 😉
And when my evil wicked great-grandmother passed away, I felt nothing but sorrow for my grandmother, that her evil wicked mother had passed away. So when it happened, when I experienced death for the first time, it was the death of my beloved grandmother, it was while I was across the country. She was alone when she died. I was glad that I hadn’t been there. I had seen her a few weeks before she passed away, and it wasn’t the same woman that I was raised with, this was an old woman, with a stupid huge pink bow in her hair like she was some sort of child, drooling and slouched over in a wheelchair, smelling like piss and wincing when she inhaled.
So when I left, I knew that I would never look at this body again, this body that the nursing home records showed was my grandmother, the ginger tap dancer who banged half the fleet in Bremerton. I kissed her mouth, whispered that I love her. I left.
I’ve sobbed at the death of someone that I loathed and I’ve sobbed at the death of a friend, maybe it’s just that I get it, I get that as we get older, death comes closer, or at least…it’s the way that it should be. The young shouldn’t die. Maybe that’s what it is with me.
I don’t know.
I do know that I don’t think about death, except when I’m planning my funeral. I figure that it will come when it comes, but I don’t want to waste my life, thinking about my death, and that’s pretty much what I ended up telling my grandson…that every moment that we get to spend with each other is precious, why would we want to worry about something that we know will come eventually, but not today.