In eighth grade I wrote my first will. It was a Word 2003 document in size 14 Comic Sans font. My Beatles CDs, yarn, and posters were carefully divided among those closest to me. I allotted half of my allowance savings to go to deactivating hidden land mines in the Middle East and the other half to my best friends. I updated it every year religiously until senior year of high school (not realizing that it was in no way a valid legal document).
So, who am I to write a blog post about death? There doesn’t seem to be a connection to being cheerful and dying. The bigger challenge for me is that I’ve never experienced a “big” loss in my lifetime as of yet. And I’m 37 years old. Sure, I know people who have passed on, such as my grandparents, and family members of people who I love, but I’ve never personally been emotionally devastated by death the way I’ve seen or felt other people experience it. And I feel absolutely inadequate and disconnected because I haven’t had that experience. Then again, who wants that experience?
The moment after midnight is
when all that’s left are open eyes in dull-lit rooms
lines of thought filling them from one wall to the other.
"Credit or debit?" asked the Hannaford's cashier as I tried to swipe my credit card for my neighbor's grocery list. The neighbor would later repay me with a check when I returned with the groceries that she had sent me out to get. I did many things for her family as she had arthritis in both her knees and her husband was still recovering from his trip to the hospital after being on 100% oxygen, something that doctors told his wife he could not come back from. You could say he temporarily cheated death..... [more]
As I enter a new phase in my life, middle-age, I have been thinking about what makes a life a good one. When I was a new college graduate, I thought I could end childhood hunger (or some other huge goal) and now I see that it still exists. One of the transformations I underwent is to go from 'I can do it' to 'I need to be a part of a community that can do it'; or, as Chuck Palahniuk says in his novel, Diary: “We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.” [..... more]