Member 2909
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Providence, Rhode Island, US
Immortal since May 9, 2011
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    My grandpa has brain cancer and is probably going to die soon. Of course I feel sad about this. I see how it's affecting my parents, siblings, cousins etc and it seems as though they're all... more sad?... than I am. I want to feel really badly for Grandpa and his situation, thinking his $10 scratch ticket is a $4 million dollar winner must be nerve-racking at times for a man who has notoriously scratched his earnings away since retirement, but I can't.

    I feel as though him dying is just the undergoing(?) of the processes of life; his cells can't reproduce themselves quicker than they're dying off and his body is just realizing this and deciding that it's done. I think that death and dying is something that has become such a negative force. Negative as in the American culture among others fear death (which is selfish, which I'll explain a little later) and force as in people view death as some sort of entity that comes to the living and steals the life away, like a game of chance.

    But to view death this way, to me at least, is selfish. I've talked to friends and family who have lost loved ones, and it's always the same thing over and over again: "We were so devastated; it cost us so much money; I'm so alone right now;" etc. I think that this is selfish because these people see only the "I" portion of death: "I have to deal with burying this person," or "I have to deal with the grief from their death," and other problems. But what about the person who died? I think that they're experiencing something so much more than "Will I have money after the burial to buy this materialistic item?" What they feel is beyond most peoples' scales of comprehension and I think the fear of death and dying is what makes people so selfish in these situations. They can see the dead person and are afraid to think "What about when I die?".

    I don't see my Grandpa dying as such a sad thing because I know what's going to happen when I die. My cells will stop respirating, my brain will stop thinking (in this reality, at least), my body will be "life-less", but then I think about everything else that will happen. My body is only created by atoms and molecules that existed in nature and are now part of my body (whether through consumption or respiration) but when I die, they'll all be released back into the natural world.

    And I think that's where I find comfort in death and dying. Rather than seeing my Grandpa as a person who will never again exist, I think of him as a chemically constructed, extremely advanced organism that has reached the end of it's livable life and will now be recycled back into Earth. Think about large trees. Imagine how many bits of human have found their way from death, to say cremation/ash, to Earth, to absorption, and then into the very trees that surround us. Grandpa may be dying but his body is still here. Hell, his body is probably composed of pieces of so many other dead humans that have just been recycled through Life.

    I guess where I meant to go with this entire post is that, there's more to dying than just dying. Your physical life lasted for an eternity on earth simply because of how chemicals and molecules and atoms, and everything that makes humans into humans, recycle. Why would anybody ever be distraught about death. Your body has died so many times before you, and has been reconstructed into so many different things before it was finally a human being and for people to discard this truth as if this death, the human death, is the most untouchable, holy experience that must emotional tax every last mind, is silly.

    But thinking about this makes me think about where my molecules really have been and this post is quite long already so I think I'll stop here.

    [Edit: Grandpa died this morning, May 15th. Wherever earth takes what was him, I hope it's to somewhere splendid.]
    Fri, May 13, 2011  Permanent link

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    Sometimes I sit back and think about what it means for other animal species to be alive. They hunt and they reproduce and they migrate and they just keep going and going about their business. The only species who seem to be messing anything up are humans, but, I will give us credit at least for this thought. What if there is no point to being alive besides the sheer need to exist on this planet as another living organism?

    Think about where our genes have come from, and our ancestors, and their ancestors. Have all living things evolved from the same, first-ever living organism and they've simply all found their unique niches? Would that not make every living thing on earth all related somehow...like we're all a part of the earth because the entire planet is everybody and everything's to have?

    Surviving for us would become so much easier once we realized that rather than work against other animals, peoples, plants, etc we should embrace the state of the earth as our reality: look at what we're affecting, look at how we can help make surviving easier for every single thing, not only ourselves... I guess I just think that's the way we're going to survive. I think that if we exclude ourselves from earth in our little "Human" game for too long we may just not survive.
    Mon, May 9, 2011  Permanent link

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