Tuesday, August 19, 2003

On death and dying, sorta

What would you feel if you knew you were going to die? Fear? Anger? Sadness?

Would you "live each day as though it was your last"? Would you try to reconcile all outstanding issues with the people in your life? Would you shake your fist at the sky and scream your wordless dissatisfaction?

I had no idea what I would feel, or even if I would feel, if I knew I was going to die. I have been so close so many times in my life that I assumed I would handle it calmly, but as to what would actually be going through my head, I had no idea. My Wonderful Life of Doom™ seems to have pain as a central theme, and (sadly) you get accustomed to it after awhile. Occasionally I realize that the level of pain I am feeling is enough that, were I not in chronic pain, I would be felled by the pain, but since it has become normal for me to have an absurd amount of pain in my day, I have learned to act as though it is not there. I smile and nod, go through the motions of life, never scream out the cries that would be appropriate to the pain I am feeling. Perhaps it is this that makes me feel so calm when the idea of death comes.

I feel like I am dying. I don't know if I really am or not, but the point is moot because there is no fucking way I am going to continue living in this much pain. So I look forward to finding some cure for the pain, and failing that, I look forward to the ultimate cure. There is a certain amount of sadness in this, but a certain amount of hope too... the pain must end sometime, and there must be an end to this continual outpouring of energy that I use to fight the pain. I'm tired. And I'm full. There isn't room for anymore pain. The inn is closed.

With these thoughts running through my head, I find that the thought of death brought an unexpected feeling: a calm and quiet amazement. There are times that I pay attention to every detail, watch every move, feel a tenderness for the people around me that just blows me away. I don't care about dying young, or missing years of my life; I just wish to experience one minute, one moment, in it's fullness, to appreciate the infinite intricate detail of this life, to love and be loved free from fear and pain. I think that's probably all anyone wants, even if they don't know it.