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We're going to die

MingleMingle Veteran
edited January 4 in Philosophy

Sorry for the morbid reminder but something a while ago made me very aware of this.

A woman came into the shop and told me she just found out she had CANCER and that she has 6 months to live. JEEEESUS....! I can't in anyway imagine how much that must suck.

What got me though was how I reacted. I've never been the whole shoulder to cry on type but I'm pretty disappointed with myself here. I mean I just felt so uncomfortable and wanted her to go. She was crying and saying how she might as well kill herself and I just didn't know what to say. In my mind I thinking "please go I don't want to deal with this".

My complete lack of sympathy in the situation concerned me, I was just so cold about it. I think maybe perhaps its because it stirred up a part of me that I don't want to acknowledge and that's the part that knows this time on earth is very temporary.

We all do our best to pretend we aren't going to die and just live everyday with this "keeping up appearances" attitude and worrying about stupid things like "I'm a celebrity" or even frickin hair (as I am a familiar with) .

I've just been trying to imagine how my attitude to life and the way I view society would change If I just got told I had 6 months to live. 6 months until being in that cold cold ground. It also got me thinking about how I'd like to die. I don't think I'd wanna know that my death is soon I'd prefer to perhaps be unexpectedly killed.

Sorry if this thread is cliche I just had to get it out of me. I do hope that woman somehow makes peace with the news.

JaySon

Comments

  • MingleMingle Veteran

    Also an interesting video on this very subject.

  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran

    I had a similar experience at an outdoor craft fair where my wife and I had a booth. A woman came up to me and showed me a photograph of a baby with some red stuff on her face. Thinking the baby had gotten into the jelly jar, I laughed and made some stupid comment.

    But it was a dead baby. When this was made clear to me, I could do nothing but stand there with my mouth hanging open, appalled at my own callousness, and unable to offer any appropriate or compassionate response.

    I have rehearsed this event in my mind many times over the years, and hope that if it should happen again I will more ready for it, and more ready to respond with compassion.

    We need to think about death more often until we can truly accept it as a part of life. Otherwise we end up getting pole-axed when it arises unexpectedly.

    Vastmind
  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran
    edited January 4

    4 min video reminder. You are going to die.

    personlobsterwojciech
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie gal Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @Mingle I've been where that lady is. I won't comment on your thread because I think I'd probably not be able to be unbiaised. But try to be kinder in the future.

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    I was surprised that a few of our friends felt this way when my wife went through it. They wouldn't come around to visit because they couldn't bear to see her like that.

    As if putting it that way made it seem like it was out of respect when it was obviously out of discomfort and fear.

    Eight and a half years ago and I haven't bothered with them since. They've told others they don't know why I never returned their calls but I sometimes wonder.

    dhammachick
  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited January 4

    Now I have that jingle for "Ferrymans Mortuary and Funeral Home" from WKRP stuck in my head.

    "There's no way to deny it;
    One day you're gonna buy it"

    eggsaviorsilver
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    We're going to die

    When pondering death, Alan Watts posed these two thought provoking questions....

    1) What was it like before you were born ?
    2) What would it be like to go to sleep and never wake up?

    lobsterJaySon
  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    I think that the shock and experience of encountering death loses its immediacy once you accept that death is not the end. It is still a parting of the ways when a family member passes on, but my grandmothers cremation was not exactly funereal - there was more renewing of old ties that was going on, it was like a social mixer, as well as an expression of respect for her passing and the difficult last few years.

    But yes I do think it's sad that when someone is dying it's often only the family who come. But sometimes it is also close family who put up the barriers. When my uncle died earlier this year his wife did make it a fair bit more difficult for people to come and see him after he was bedridden.

    But it's a common belief here in the Netherlands even among non-Christians that there is an afterlife, and that you will meet your family again.

    dhammachick
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie gal Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    But it's a common belief here in the Netherlands even among non-Christians that there is an afterlife, and that you will meet your family again.

    I admit that's why I have a soft spot for Asatru. My family in Norway also believe this. I think it's great.

  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    I have mixed feelings about that. Sounds terrific but what if my wives don't get along?

    I'm pretty sure I'm just kidding.

  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie gal Sydney, Australia Veteran

    Well one might go to Freya's hall and one might go to Frigga's or someone else's and they can take turns visiting you in Vahalla or wherever the Valkyries drop you off :lol:

    David
  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran
    edited January 4

    What's popular here is a religion called "something-ism" which came from many people stating they weren't Christian but they believed there was "something" after this life. It's not very well defined but there is a lot of belief in a good hereafter. People dying is commonly referred to as "passing away" or "crossing over". Not exactly asatru, but hey.

    dhammachick
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator

    @Kerome said:
    What's popular here is a religion called "something-ism" which came from many people stating they weren't Christian but they believed there was "something" after this life. It's not very well defined but there is a lot of belief in a good hereafter. People dying is commonly referred to as "passing away" or "crossing over". Not exactly asatru, but hey.

    There are so many ways of describing the action of dying, it almost astonishes people when others actually say "S/He's dead."

    dhammachick
  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran
    edited January 4

    They don't all describe the same thing though. Many express an explicit belief about death of one sort or another... "passing away" is a clear utterance which expresses faith in a continued spiritual existence in another place, while "being dead" has more of a rang of finality to it.

    Using the right term can often shape the conversation around death in a given occasion, and give comfort to those who remain by showing them that at least some of us believe in the persistence of being.

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    @federica said:
    It's extraordinary how the two biggest, normal, everyday, unavoidable, commonplace and universal occurrences still evoke the biggest reactions, cause the most controversy and are regarded as the major taboos in society.

    Sex and death.

    ...Then @Shoshin quotes We're going to die...
    I like We're all going to have sex better.

    What you said cracked me up, can't help myself, @Federica.

    Oh, and I think about Edith and Archie Bunker.

    It really is better when we laugh. o:)

    Shoshin
  • To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering one must not love. But then one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer; not to love is to suffer; to suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy, then, is to suffer, but suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be unhappy, one must love or love to suffer or suffer from too much happiness. I hope you're getting this down.
    Sonja (Diane Keaton), from "Love and Death"

    lobstersilverwojciecheggsavior
  • techietechie India Veteran
    edited January 8

    @IronRabbit said:
    To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering one must not love. But then one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer; not to love is to suffer; to suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy, then, is to suffer, but suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be unhappy, one must love or love to suffer or suffer from too much happiness. I hope you're getting this down.
    Sonja (Diane Keaton), from "Love and Death"

    To read this is to suffer. O.o To avoid suffering one must not read this.

    silverSteve_Blobster
  • It is useless to feel guilty for what you did or did not do. We all have our pie in the face moments. Some of us more than others.The key is to learn from our mistakes, our personal and social blunders and grow, become better persons.

    Peace to all.

  • terminalterminal bellingham New

    You were never born.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator

    @terminal said:
    You were never born.

    Speak for yourself.
    I know for my part, I began somewhere, just as I shall end. Some where.

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    @terminal said:
    You were never born.

    It's a wonderful life, aye? o:)

  • terminalterminal bellingham New

    We are beyond space and time.

  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie gal Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @terminal said:
    We are beyond space and time.

    All wibbly wobbly and timey wimey...... ok who stole my cushion????

    karasti
  • satcittanandasatcittananda UK Explorer
    edited January 13

    @terminal said:
    We are beyond space and time.

    We're also bounded by space and time!

    What does that say to you really?

    I mean when you really think about it.

    I am willing to bet that you have no comment of any value as the terms and boundaries have been set.

  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie gal Sydney, Australia Veteran
    edited January 13

    @satcittananda said:

    @terminal said:
    We are beyond space and time.

    Ware also bounded by space and time!

    What does that say to you really?

    I mean when you really think about it.

    Dude lighten up occasionally, I was taking the opportunity to give a giggle.

    Tough crowd......

    But since you asked - I think it means you think too much, are too serious and like to "debate" a little too much here.....

    federica
  • wojciechwojciech the desert Explorer

    Death is beautiful....for me, I try to remind myself that I am dying a little bit day by day, breath by breath.

    What would be the difference between someone telling you that you have 6 months to live versus 2 years? Or 2 days? Or 5 or 10 years? What if you had only one more day of life and nobody told you? I don't mean to induce fear or be morbid but this is simply our reality...

    I used to work on an ICU and had the chance to sit with a man on his death bed. What was so wonderful about that experience is all of us in that room knew Bill was approaching his last breath. There was no presumption, bitterness, shock, or any of the dilly dallying around the truth we often experience day to day. We were simply being present after all there is no way to fake or side step the Truth. Being wholeheartedly in the moment and sincere at the heart level of simple presence was something that changed my out look big time!

    lobsterfedericaTigger
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited January 13

    @Vastmind said:
    4 min video reminder. You are going to die.

    How I laughed!

    Who is ready to die? Have you packed your coffin and made your Will? I will be leaving my body for the worms/fishes or if near a sky burial facility maybe I can be minced for the small birds ... they should enjoy the treat ...

    OK Yama, get ready.

    Let's dance!

    What fun!

    Here I am
    Prayin' for this moment to last
    Livin' on the music so fine
    Borne on the wind
    Makin' it mine

    Night fever, night fever
    We know how to do it
    Gimme that night fever, night fever
    We know how to show it

    Bee Gees

    dhammachickwojciech
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator

    Aw @lobster, ever the giving soul! Thanks so much for the EARWORM!!!

    :D

    lobsterTiggersilverVastmind
  • GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SVAHA

    wojciech
  • KindhumanbeingKindhumanbeing Winston-Salem, NC New

    That's very pessimistic. I'm not even sick. I'm very healthy & well / I take great care of myself & I choose life. Choose life.

    Steve_B
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator

    It's really not pessimistic at all.
    Everyone chooses life, consciously or otherwise. But every breath you take, is one breath less, and takes you inexorably closer to the moment you will breathe your last.
    I have confronted Death and made it my friend, because much as I might like to imagine myself rocking in a chair well into my 90's, the truth is, I could get mown down by a bus tomorrow.
    And every day, we are a little closer to dying, healthy or otherwise.
    Damn right I choose Life.

    The choice is not always mine....

    dhammachicklobsterwojciechkarasti
  • @Kindhumanbeing said:
    That's very pessimistic. I'm not even sick. I'm very healthy & well / I take great care of myself & I choose life. Choose life.

    Hi and Welcome <3

    Buddhism and those clinging to life can have an unhealthy fixation on death. Some Tibetans spend their whole life preparing for the Bhardo states, some traditional Buddhist monks meditate on stages of corpse decay ( dependent on availability ;) ) but then the Sufis say we 'should die before we Die' and this too is life affirming.

    Everything is about context, meaning and spiritual life skills. For example, 'have you been to heaven/euphoric mind states? Many of us spend a great deal of time there, shrug our shoulders and say, 'yeah no big deal' ... which strangely enough can be our attitude to this precious life ...

    It all depends where you are on The Path ... and the 'circle of life' ... whether you are a 'pro-lifer', NDE refugee, war veteran or new age love bunny ... B)

    wojciech
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran
    edited January 20

    @Kindhumanbeing why do you think it's pessimistic? Death is a part of every moment of our living. That doesn't mean we don't embrace life. But part of the reason we do so badly at dealing with death is because we refuse to face and accept it. Many of us are healthy and well, and grateful for it every moment. But every moment someone who woke up healthy and well dies unexpectedly. Yesterday 3 children getting on their school bus were hit by a car who didn't follow the laws of driving. Waking up well is no guarantee of the moments to follow. That doesn't mean we obsess over that fact. We simply acknowledge and accept it and then we work every day on doing what we can to make our corner of the world just a bit better instead of waiting for tomorrow.

    Tiggerlobster
  • Steve_BSteve_B Far southwest corner of Indiana, USA Veteran
    edited January 21

    @Kindhumanbeing said:
    That's very pessimistic. I'm not even sick. I'm very healthy & well / I take great care of myself & I choose life. Choose life.

    Awesome, yes, you are right. Yes, choose life! Live well.

    Death will come, in its time. It always does. But meanwhile, we have lots of great living to do.
    Buddhism's perspective is to simply remind us that one day we will die. No need for agonizing, no point in denying. All that we have, all that we know, all that we love, we will be separated from. All of it. Knowing this helps us focus on what is really important. How much stuff you buy really doesn't matter. You will lose it all. So it's not important. How you live your life is important. Being kind and compassionate to others is important. The eightfold path is important (and you are obviously on it). What you do with your life during the time you have it is important. Buddhism frees us from all the unimportant stuff. It's ultimately the most positive of perspectives.

    Live!

    I like your name, by the way.

    eggsavior
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie gal Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @Kindhumanbeing Buddhism is not nihilism. It can be very easy to make that misjudgment without delving deeper _ /\ _

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited January 21

    @Kindhumanbeing said:
    That's very pessimistic. I'm not even sick. I'm very healthy & well / I take great care of myself & I choose life. Choose life.

    @Kindhumanbeing

    "Death is inevitable, suffering is optional"

    We are born to die (and I guess die to be reborn) ...Worrying about dying is not going to change the fact that we are (in the conventional sense) already dying ( however, in the ultimate sense, death & rebirth occurs from moment to moment) worrying just adds to the burdens of Samsara (which incidentally means the cycle of life death & rebirth "cyclic existence" )

    Apart from a few aliments I'm relatively healthy but this body is still dying...By learning to accept death "mentally", the mind remains in a 'healthy' state too :)

    "An Optimist thinks this is the best possible world-A Pessimist fears this is true!
    A Buddhist see things as they really are and just lives life through and through"

    Kaydeekay
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