08 April 2015

life is short and then you die

I just read a Facebook status that said, "One year from now, we will be on a warm, sunny beach!" And the thought crossed my mind, "Unless you are dead."

Ever since my sister died unexpectedly on March 1, my brain has been plotting people's sudden demise left and right. I keep imagining, though briefly, that death will snatch us at random unexpected moments. My paranoia that my baby could just stop breathing suddenly and for no apparent reason, which seems to be something I think about anyway when I have newborn babies apparently, persists even though Maya is more robust now. When I see some sort of reference to someone who has died, in news headlines or otherwise, I can't resist opening the article and reading more. I am particularly attracted to articles about deaths that are sudden and unexpected and not caused by someone's poor health or old age. I just don't get it! Does everyone really die when it's their time? It seems so random and arbitrary sometimes. One day you're here and then suddenly you're not coming back for no apparent reason. Nothing changed, except . . .

I don't know if my personal blog is the place to admit how morbid my brain is lately. I guess I just can't really understand the experience of death so well. When we worked and lived at the funeral home, it was just business. It took a little getting used to, but after a few brushes with the corpses, I was not phased by them. And I try to remind myself of how commonplace it is, because everyone is going to die. And ninety percent of the time (I don't know actual statistics), death comes to the aged after a gradual wearing down after a life well lived.


Margaret said...

Oh, Amanda. That's awful. I'm so sorry about your sister. My heart broke when I read that.

The paranoia is so real. I get it. Life can seem senseless at times. I'm grateful for books and religion that try to make sense of the senseless. They remind me that every day really is a gift that we are alive. It's unfortunate that we have to experience loss to appreciate what we have.

Amanda said...

I ran across a letter from my grandma in a box of "stuff" my parents had given me a couple of days ago. It was so real, so personal, so HER, and I had a moment where I tried to comprehend how someone who was such a real and alive part of my life at that time could just be gone. And right there in the middle of our basement I started crying, even though she's been gone for years, because I missed her as much as if she'd just been a part of my life just yesterday. Even after the emotion passed, I struggled with the seeming finality of the cessation of her existence. How does something just not exist any longer?? Of course I believe she still does, and I have felt her close to me at time when I needed help, but in most ways in my life, she isn't there any more. And it makes me sad. Perhaps it is these moments that drive us to our extremities where we search for answers, for a touch of divinity to assure us that although we don't understand everything, and although perhaps sometimes (or even often) there isn't a "reason" for things, God is in it all in some way, somehow. If nothing else, he is in it because he can make everything whole and complete and OK in the end.

I hope you find peace.

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