Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Where are you now?

Death is such an odd thing.
This week is the first anniversary of loosing my friend Gib. He was such a sweet guy, it is strange for me to think he no longer exists on this planet.
Jon and I got to talking about the big questions last night like "What do you think happens next?"
We come from such different places on this subject. He feels that this is all there is, and that is why me must appreciate life. He isn't closed to the possibility, but he leans towards "This is it"
For me, I HAVE to believe there is something more than this. I've lost so many people that I love that there is an anniversary nearly every month in my world. So many of them were lost to tragedy and long before their time. If I believed that they just vanished from existence, I am not sure I could live with that.
maybe that is the difference between how we believe. He has never really lost anyone close or young or to major tragedy and I have lost many. I have held a person's hand and looked in his face as the life literally left his body. That only happened a couple of years ago and it had a profound effect on me.
That moment when he breathed in and then a gray wash came over him and he just didn't breath out. Like he was holding his breath. I could see the veil of life leave. It was like a shadow passing over him quite literally. It was similar to when I was holding my pets when they passed, just on a much larger level. There was a part of him that left and I watched it leave. I may not have been able to see where it went to, but I did see it, whatever it was. It was not like a light turning out, it was like watching something leave. In my mind, since I watched something leave, that means there had to have been a something there to go, and it had to go somewhere.
It is hard for me to believe with so many people on this planet and with so much death that not everyone has experienced this. Not everyone has had the opportunity to hold a loved ones hand while their soul left their body. It really is a profound thing and for me it was the closest to evidence of the existence of something more. It was tangible, I know what I saw and it sticks with me.


Shawn Anderson said...

Thanks for sharing about your friend's death... it's been cathartic for me to read other people's experience in the matter, so I hope you don't mind me commenting and sharing on your post.

I'm no authority on the matter, but the last year has given me more experience then I would want. One thing I've noticed is that everyone seems to go in different ways... my little sister died earlier this year (5 year battle w/ breast cancer) and she went screaming. Her last words were "I hate this stupid pillow!" tossed it off the bed and then seemed to drift off as she had been doing for her last few months, but didn't come back to us this time.

My grandfather, on the other hand, went peacefully a couple months ago, dying an hour after Pope JPII. He'd already died and come back the year before, suffering a massive heart attack while getting a checkup at the doctor's office. They took him off life support a week later and he just woke up like he'd had a nice long nap. He was never the same, but we got to have him for one more year, which I cherish.

I'd been a bit obsessed with death earlier this year as a result of all this, and really have only been able to snap out of it with the birth of my first child.

So my lesson from all this is life can truly trump death.

Michelle Auer said...

Thanks for sharing this.
Cancer is such a difficult thing, especially in the young. I am so sorry for your loss. I have lost 2 relatives in the last year and a few friends from it over the last several.
I think when you loose people is when you start asking those questions. The people who have somehow avoided death are the ones who tend not to ask, like it doesn't really happen. I think they are also the same people who are so shocked by it when it does.
The upside to loosing people is it gives you time to come to grips with the reality of it. Time to wrap your mind around the inevitable.
I am at a place where I know it will happen someday, and as much as I am not happy about that fact, I am OK with it.
the funy thing about having kids, you start to want to hang on as long as possible, so death gets all scary again. Kind of a double edged sword.


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