This morning I was talking to my mother and I mentioned that my ex boyfriend's grandmother had passed away yesterday. She inquired whether or not it had been sudden and I replied 'she was winding down for awhile'. My mother thought this was an... interesting way of putting it. But isn't that generally what death is? I mean, barring violence, accidents, sudden illnesses, etc., our bodies would eventually wind down, give out and we'd die. I'm not really all that fearful of my own mortality though this mentality will most likely change as I get older and my death creeps toward me.

Then again, death isn't reserved only for the elderly. I've known many who have died so young, due to car/motorcycle accidents, drug overdoses, suicides - you just never going to know when you're time is up. Some of these deaths could have easily been avoided if the person hadn't put themselves in a dangerous situation and, without sounding cruel, the decedents in the cases mentioned above often had a role to play in their own demise. Regardless, the loss of life will still affect those still living and shouldn't be minimized.

I'm not exactly afraid of death itself. To me, it's just the next logical step in existence. You come into existence and then you fade out of it. Once I'm dead, I don't exist anymore so I don't have to worry about me, or anything else for that matter. In some ways I imagine my body will be relieved to be dead. Death isn't scarybut it is sad. No one wants to leave their loved ones behind or miss precious moments. Most people don't want to cease to exist, myself included, naturally.

I think another reason why I'm not so terrified by death is because I'm not worried about HELL. Religion has made death even scarier than it needs to be! The concept of hell is utterly appalling. There are people out there who live their short little lives in the grips of utter terror that they just may end up burning for eternity in the fiery pits of hell. Whoever developed the concept of hell is the most sadistic, sick asshole that walked this earth. Religions are so preoccupied with death - think about the symbol of the cross, for crying out loud!! I remember going to a Catholic church once and wondering how the priest could talk about how wonderful God was while standing under a huge cross with a bloody, dead Jesus on it. Didn't make any sense to me.

Of course, there are things I DO worry about it when it comes to my demise. I worry how my death will affect my family and friends. I hope my death is not painful or drawn out. I hope violence or my own stupidity do not play a role in my death. I hope, if I ever contract a terminal disease, that I will be allowed to die with dignity and at a time of my choosing. Most of all, I hope I don't suffer for years in the throes of dementia or Alzheimer's, a fate I consider FAR worse than death. For years, I watched my grandfather whither and fade away until he was nothing more than a husk of the person he had once been because of Alzheimer's. It was horrible to watch and I was grateful and relieved when he finally passed on - for him and my family. I don't think anyone should have to suffer through that.

I like how my family reacts to death. When a person dies instead of having a big funeral, we have a 'celebration of life' party. Everyone comes over and we tell stories about the deceased, remember them as they lived, not as they died.

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Comment by Atheist Ninja on November 23, 2008 at 11:52am
The day I exceed my life expectancy, I'm going to go sky diving, drug experimenting, street racing and whatever other dangerous and exhilarating activities I can think of. I'll be the craziest old man you'll ever see.


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