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Saturday, June 02, 2007

Dead, Dead, very very Dead

There's a line from the Thumbelina movie stuck in my head for the past year or so. Its a song with the line of this post's title in it. I prefer "dead" to "passed away"; "gone to a better place"; and "no longer with us". It is what it is. Death. Not pretty. Not politically correct or tidy or kind.

just dead.

Like my cousin's husband who died earlier today of a heart attack. Dead.

I mean no disrespect to his wife and children and grandchildren. There's just no better word to describe the craziness of being alive one minute, making plans to spend the summer camping at Bird's Hill and the next moment, simply not existing.

We're supposed to know what to do with the insides of our own dying bodies when people we love go ahead and DIE. But we go on, breathing in and out, our crushing chests aching with life.

9 comments:

Valerie Ruth said...

i prefer the term too. i think a lot of these other terms minimize the finality of our time on earth and that they encourage denial. but that's just my opinion.

Danielle B. said...

So much of what you write is so raw and honest...this is what I like about visiting here...real life in motion...and it doesn't stop to allow us to 'get a grip' we do, as you so descriptively put, 'go on, breathing in and out, our crushing chests aching with life.'There is much we don't understand, that is why it is called faith. I'm praying for you, for strength to find some measure of comfort during this present sadness in your life.

Tess said...

I'm very sorry to hear about your cousin's husband, your family is having a tough time.
And I couldn't agree with you more about the terminology. Death seems to be the last dirty word. Do we use the prettier versions out of fear? Politeness?
It even extends to animals. We have our sick pets "put to sleep".
And I always have to stop an inappropriate smile threatening to escape when I hear that someone has "lost their husband". Careless, huh?
This inability to use the right words for the right things bugs me. Death is very physical, and it should be accorded the honesty of a straightforward, physical word. Thanks for raising this, and I'll be praying for you and your family over the next few days.

Joyce said...

Its not that I was close to my cousin or her husband. Its more that death has become very popular lately and I recognize more than ever that its part of living human. The crappy part is the people who feel like they've lost about half of their own bodies, but somehow have to learn to walk and live again.

Ruth said...

that is hard. very hard. and watching and wondering how or how not to help.

Christy said...

It has always amazed me how life and deatn seem sepsrated by a mere hairwidth.

"crushing chests aching with life"...I don't think Steinbeck (not to be confused with Steinbach) could have written it better.

svea said...

i am sorry joyce.

Louise said...

sorry to hear about this..
thinking of you...

Anonymous said...

I have a brother-in-law who is dying...yet the word sounds so harsh, so final....saying M is sick, ill, seems so much kinder...yet he is none of those things....M is dying...that's the reality....Lindalew