In this country we have a fascination with death. There are so many T.V. shows that portray in detail the bodies of people who have been violently murdered. Our video games are all about killing the bad guy. Our gun lovers want more guns so they can kill a potential threat. Our terrorists are plotting to kill us all. Our shooters are going on killing sprees in sacred spaces like schools and places of worship.
Kill, kill, kill. Death, death, death.
Did you see Kill Bill or Pulp Fiction? Both are great movies but they are both violently depicting death as if it is no big deal. People are close to death and die in front of other people and nothing is thought of it.
Either we don’t value life, or we are obsessed with death. Or both.
I once went to my shrink and told him, when my father was temporarily in the hospital many years ago, “I’m afraid my father will die.”
“He will die,” my psychiatrist said. “One day.” I couldn’t believe he said that. I was in shock. I go to him to feel better. But I finally got it one day. He was just telling me the truth.
I had a Creative Writing class in undergrad once and my T.A. told us never to use the words like “truth.” Maybe he would have included the word “death.” He said we don’t understand what these words mean and they mean something different to everyone. Sometimes in writing classes they focus too much on the physical. What color was his shirt? Let’s talk about yellow. Describe the yellow and never ever say truth.
I think it’s very American of him to teach that. In many countries people are not so afraid of the ambiguous. In my religion, Sikhism, there is a phrase in our scriptures: “The truth never gets old.” The truth is not new and never will be old.
What is the truth you ask? What is the truth about death, you might ask? I’m not an authority on the subject but I think everyone’s truth is a little different even though it may be based on the same principals. And I think everyone’s death might be a little different too. I read somewhere that what happens after death is exactly what you think happens. If you think you will go to hell, you will and so on. I’m not sure about that…but I’m not sure it’s not true.
In grad school I wrote a story about my Grandmother’s death. One of my professors told me it was not a realistic reaction to death. She didn’t know it was a true story. What is a realistic reaction to death? I made jokes in this story; she didn’t think it was funny. Then my mentor read it and told me it was perfect. What is the perfect reaction to death?
What do you think death is exactly?
What do you think happens after death?
All we know is what happens before death. Life happens before death. But what happens before life?
I think death is a transition into another realm, and then possibly a transition into another body or life. I think when you die you become very happy for a while because you meet your soul, and maybe god. I think you feel pure love and bliss. Then you either go on to a heavenly realm or you come back to some planet in some form of life.
I could be completely wrong. I could be completely delusional. Maybe some people who are bad go to a dark place after death. I personally don’t think there is a hell, however I believe there are places that exist that are devoid of spirit. I think those places can be on earth itself as well.
Some people think you die and just end it all. Some people think you vanish and cease to exist after death. I understand completely why people think that, it seems like the scientific explanation to go by. But science doesn’t know where we were before our death, if we existed then, and what happens to our ‘mind’ or our ‘soul’ after death.
Does our mind even exist? The mind is not the brain. The mind is a compilation of thoughts and feelings. Where is it though? Is it in space? Where do your thoughts and feelings go after death? Do they disappear into thin air?
I personally don’t think so, but I don’t have any proof or anything. I believe the soul captures these feelings and thoughts and moves through the universe.
It’s the biggest mystery of them all: death. We only know one thing for sure: all of us will one day die. Isn’t it funny that the earth will be inhabited by totally new and different people after we all die. It’s kinda depressing is what it is.
But would you want to live forever? I don’t want to, I want to live to like eighty-five. I know I can’t really make that decision now, but I don’t want to get to a state that I can’t take care of myself. I don’t have any kids, who is going to take care of me? That’s kind of sad too.
But is death supposed to be sad? In some cultures they celebrate death. I want people to party it up when I die. I mean I hope they laugh remembering me much more than they cry. Thinking about my death is making me upset. It should be a good thing because I will be moving on to my next phase of existence. I should celebrate the idea that I had a life on this earth, and a good one.
I have had some people close to me die, it was never fun. I think in our culture we demonize death and make it harder than it should be. We should smile when we think of these people who have passed.
But let’s be honest, we usually have to cry for a long time before we can smile about it. I wonder is crying over someone’s death a show of love? If I laughed at your death, would you cry?
I suppose dying is a miracle as well as a curse.
They say we are all in denial about our death. I don’t know, maybe. I know I’m going to die, but do I really believe it?
What would be in your heaven, a place you could go after death, if you could create it?
I imagine a place first and foremost where you cannot get fat by eating and you can eat anything you want all the time. Yes, I’m not gonna lie, that is my first requirement.
Secondly I see a place that is like a big city on a beach. I imagine beautiful waterfalls and hot springs. I like to think it is a place where everyone knows your name. Like a small town maybe. My heaven is maybe an island, where all the inhabitants know and love each other. They are like-minded in the sense that they value the important things in life. Or death, whatever you want to call it.
In my heaven, people still argue, but they hug afterwards. People are different, but they accept each other. And people meditate and sing together. They don’t have the word ‘violence’ in their vocabulary in my world.
I suppose I could create this heaven on earth if I really tried. I don’t think you have to die to be in heaven. I think heaven and hell are right here. I sure as hell have been to hell, I tell you that.
I’ve felt moments of heaven, moments of complete happiness and peace. If you can feel that all the time I guess you are what they call saved, you are in Nirvana. Is Nirvana a place or a state of mind?
Is death a place or a state of mind? Hmmm…
Perhaps I asked more questions than I answered. Maybe I don’t know much…but I want to know something before I die.