Deep Thoughts

Deep Thoughts

One thing we are all going to do is die someday. Do you think about your own death any? I do, often. Let's not get into the pros and cons of any particular religion --PLEASE-- But I would like to make death a non-taboo subject here and discuss it, if you want.

My thoughts are these (among many others):

I am not afraid to die, but I am afraid of the processes of dying. What I fear most is the thought of drowning or choking. Like most all of us I just want to slip away peacefully in my sleep.

I worry about the sorrow my husband, grandchildren, and my son will endure....and my daughter-in-laws to some extent. I'm very, very close to my grandchildren and my son. I know when my mother died in 1987 I was traumatized and thought it was the worse thing that happened in my life up until my youngest Son died in 2011. He was 37. I can not begin to tell you how devastated I was and I hate the thought of my loved ones going through that agony.

I don't have any firm belief as to what follows this physical world, but I do believe there is something. I've read physics and metaphysics (not going to pretend I understood much of it) that this physical world is not what we perceive it to be. My greatest hope is that my essences (soul or whatever) will be able to be with those that I have loved and lost and also those that I have loved and left behind.

What are your thoughts? The picture is of my family less one husband and one daughter-in-law.

23 Replies

  • I love life. However I am very curious what is on the other side. This life goes by in a blink of an eye, and then we will be back together again. I definitely do believe in reincarnation. Our souls never die. Life is precious. In 1973 we rented a house from an older lady (at the time she must have been in her late fifties) stayed friends to the day she died at age 94. For Christmas she always gave me an amaryllis the kind that you have to plant in a pot. She died in November, that December our mutual friend that worked in a grocery store said to me quote I have a Christmas present for you from Ruby and gave me an amaryllis to plant. So I got home and started planting it and there right next to me was my friend for about 30 to 40 seconds, and then she was gone. I could not see her I just had this very strong feeling. Her presence was there. So, this is my Supernatural story. Mary

  • Wow, my amaryllis bloomed in February, the flower is long gone but the plant remains.

  • I have kept my amaryllis I have replanted them in a huge planter they bloom once in awhile.

  • What a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing this Mary. I too believe in reincarnation. If you want to read a true story that will make your jaw drop read 'Soul Survivor' . It's a well documented true story and after reading it I think you could not disbelieve in reincarnation.

  • Oh yes, there is a spiritual dimension. I have enough spiritual experience that for me this is not just belief, or even knowledge, but awareness.

    I think it is easier for loved ones to adjust to the passing of a parent than of a child.

    I agree - I am not afraid of dying but would want that process to be peaceful rather than violent, painful, or desperate. That said - one day at a time. Take care of today and tomorrow will take care of itself.

  • Much ado about nothing. You are here than you are not. Billions of people already left. The big difference between them and you is they did not get to go to Disneyland. I have no idea what happens next, if nothing than the whole thing is just silly. A song for you, that I like, said it before, you worry too much .

    What will you tell the angels when they ask you to recall the thrill of it all.

    LIFE you have to experience it

  • Worrying about death takes time from our short life here. Our time is better spent hugging a grand child. I have spent the last 2 years helping to watch my now 5 year old grand baby. It has been 2 of the most enjoyable years of my life. She starts kindergarden in the fall and it makes me sad that i will no longer see her every day. She uses words an phases that most 18 year olds know. You can not think of death when you have a person so full of life as she is.

    loving life now will deal with death when the time comes and may chase him up a tree when he gets here.

  • My grandchildren are truly my reason for living. I feel so blessed to have them.

  • There is an afterlife. And your son is in a fantastic place 💟

  • Thank you Jeeves, I like hearing that.

  • The problem is that if we believe "one particular religion" has the answer to death, then discussing death IS taboo. :-)

  • YES!

  • Theresa, this is a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing and opening up the discussion of dying. I am not afraid of dying only of being forgotten! Silly, I know, but it's important to me.

  • Jane I understand. That's one of the reason I'm going on this trip next year to Disneyworld with my family. I want to make good memories that my family will remember all their lives of when "Nana took us to Disneyworld". I'm paying for the whole thing....9 people. We are not wealthy and it is something I've been saving for and will do even though my husband is furious about me spending so much money for what he considers frivolous. To me it is not frivolous, it is the most important thing I can do.

  • Oh! Theresa it all sounds so wonderful! Have a great time!

  • Brilliant ! One of the best things you can do. Just the kind of legacy we should all leave behind !

  • Your major concern seems to me to be your struggle at the end. Let me try to put that concern to rest. Most people with PwP, I understand, expire from aspiration pneumonia. Morphine allows you to avoid the struggle to breathe due to oxygen deprivation as your lungs fill with fluid. It is important that you discuss your wishes with your physician now and fill out the legal papers concerning your end of life treatment. Give thought to whether you wish to be "lucid" or "comfortable" at the end (and I suggest you opt for the latter).

    Plan to say your farewells in advance. In my case, I have had long discussions with my physician making certain that only I can authorize treatment with antibiotics and have gone to great lengths to describe dementia (on paper) so that my family will not be faced with terrible decisions. My greatest fear has been to be seriously "out to lunch" mentally, exhaust family with caretaking responsibilties, and drain their financial resources with long term, intensive care. Both my parents had morphine at the end, and died peacefully.

    If you do these things, you will feel better about all this, maybe let go of some of it.

    Pneumonia (the "old man's friend") is likely to slip her hand into yours and slip away with you. (I don't think she discriminates based on sex, either).


    P.S. In terms of loss, I've been told by my minister that in his experience losing a child is the most profound loss for person can bear. Tragically he lost his own son to suicide a few years after he said this to me. You know about this personally. Parents are supposed to protect their children and make things right. I suspect we harbor this feeling irregardless of age.

  • Your post means a lot to me Frank. I will definitely do as you say. I will ask my current neurologist and medical doctor if I could get it on my records. You never know what tomorrow will bring. That will give me a feeling of relief and I will definitely pick 'comfortable' over 'lucid.' I also want to thank you for acknowledging the lost of my son. He too was a suicide.

    I'm not sure if you are trying to tell me in your post script that you too have lost a child? When your minister told you that losing a child is the most profound loss was he speaking of your loss or just a general conversation? I hope you did not loose your child. What your minister said is right and I'm so sorry it happened to him.

  • I'm glad I helped. My conversation with my minister (who was a very close friend) covered a lot of ground generally on the topic of what it was like to be with people when they died. And his answer was "people are all over the map..." Some die angry ... some die peacefully. But, he did say that there was a close correlation with how people had lived their lives and whether or not their life had been fulfilling.

    One other thing I believe you might find very helpful in terms of dealing with death is the book Being Mortal:

    It is an amazing book by a physician and honestly everyone over 60 would benefit from reading it. Our church had a meeting of about 30 people (members who had read the book). It was chaired (coincidentally) by a man with PD, fairly well advanced. It was an unforgettable meeting.

    Fortunately I have not had the experience of losing a child to death. If I've in any way diminished your suffering with the thought of sadness you must bear for your son projected on to members of your family, that gives me a good feeling. Your own comfort level with your death will ease the burden on those you leave behind.


    P.S. There are a number of "legal documents" relating to "end of life" care, "wishes", "healthcare power of attorney" which should be filled out. And, ideally, signed by your spouse and children. It is unlikely that your physician has access to all these things. If you like I can email you this material.

  • I would be grateful to get the forms. I will email you so you have my address. You have been of great help.

  • Everything by Atul Gawande is excellent. Here is another book on death and dying I recommend:

  • I have thought about dying too. I have no fear and I think if I live with MS for years, I will welcome. I don't want people to mourn for me. I want to be creamated and not have a service but I don't know if my husband will honor if I go first. I hope I go first for selfish reasons. I wouldn't want to live without my husband.

    Have fun on trip. I took my youngest daughter and niece about 17 years ago.

  • I think people that remain healthy as they age are also able to keep intact that thicker skin of denial about death. That has been stripped away for us. The inevitability of the end is not theoretical. And perhaps this happens sooner for us than for others.

    I also am filling out the forms for my end-of-life care and thinking about my family and, as with all of us, not wanting to be any more of a burden than necessary. I can't believe that we aren't in some way part of each other after we leave this place. I love my family so much and they're so much a part of me now.

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