My dad just called earlier to tell me that my grandmother has been hospitalised and is getting treatment for some kind of systemic infection, likely due to her other problems, which are various and vast… The main issue has been osteoporosis getting gradually worse and worse over time, which has lead to new health problems, which lead to more, which lead to now – when the elderly get infections it can all go bad very quickly. She is 90 or 91, I think. She is very frail. The osteoporosis has entirely crippled her system…she used to be a very tall, broad woman and is now 44kg and very short…completely bent over frontwards. Mum said she has lost so much weight because any time she eats she feels sick because her stomach is always squashed by her ribcage bending against it, and because of the other health things that I can’t quite recall, and obviously bone deterioration from the osteoporosis.
The point is, I remember getting the same kind of phone call from dad and/or mum a few times..whenever someone is about to die or gets very very sick. Our cat, Lucy, when she was taken in to the vet because she couldn’t walk, Dad called and told me. An hour or so later, he called again saying she was dead (they think it was a snake bite) (it was too quick).
Dad or Mum called a year or so after that when our dog, Susie, suddenly fell over going for a walk…then panting continuously…Dad called the vet and then told me, “The vet said it’s probably congestive heart failure.” – I knew there was something wrong with her after she came back from the walk, so I ran away to a friend’s house. I couldn’t be there. About 45 minutes later, Dad called again to say that she had died.
And the third call was when my Grandma on my mum’s side died. Same story…infection of some description (I think)…stayed with mum and dad for a day or so we could visit her in hospital…came back to my place…the next day, Dad called to say that she was gone.
Another call mingled in there is when my mum called me and said my dog, Henry, was having longer-than-usual seizures (he has idiopathic epilepsy and has a 10-30 second seizure about once a month) pretty much non stop, so she had taken him to the vet where they had him sedated to give his body time to rest. From that call, there was the waiting to see if he would wake up with brain damage from oxygen deprivation. The risk of that was low, but in my mind, considering all the other calls like this one… I expected the worst. He is, however, perfectly fine.
And now here I am, again, expecting the worst.
Every single time my mum or dad calls and starts off with something about Henry, Elmo (our cat) or the birdies, Dart and Ash, I prepare for the news that they (whichever animal mum/dad are talking about) have died. Just within that millisecond, before mum/dad says the next couple of words in their sentence…my throat and chest constrict, my stomach flips, my eyes get this hard stare like…like, I don’t want to move, like if I move it’ll mean they’re dead.
It’s the problem with having animals. It’s the problem with having parents. You’re going to live longer than they are. You are going to be there when your loved ones died. Being a human here, you are going to watch something you love die.
I wish we were taught growing up that it’s okay to die, that death is just something that happens and that it’s nothing to freak out about. Wouldn’t that be more natural, sort of? A more realistic perspective I mean? And it sounds cold and harsh now, but it would make living on after what you love dies just a little bit easier. But then, there’s that natural instinct isn’t there? The ego could not fathom, not for a second, that death is alright, that death is just a change of perspective.
Really, death should just be…what it truly is – the withdrawal of consciousness from this physical perspective, transferred into a new, non-physical perspective. You don’t actually die. Death is not real. Like, seriously, it’s not fucking real. It’s just the same as ‘waking up’. You could call us going to sleep every night and then waking up every morning…dying. We die every single night. We withdraw our consciousness from our physical perspective, from our ‘lives’ and spend time in the non-physical perspective…and then we come right back! And that’s the same as what will happen when you DIE die. When you move from physical to non-physical for the quote – unquote “last” time, it will feel exactly as it does when you wake up from a dream and say, “Well, that was interesting. What am I going to do today?”
But, the problem is that we all believe that you have to age or get sick or injured to die. Your body has to start to fall apart in some way before you can withdraw from this physical life for the “last” time. But like I said, we do it every fucking night. It’s only going on like this because we already believe it has to. And that belief is massive and seems unchangeable…but I’ve come up with this way of thinking about it where, if I can just focus on the truth of this concept enough – the truth that life is an eternal dream and that death is just a blink here and there, in-between – I might just overturn the belief of injury/illness/aging = the only way to die… I might just live and live and live (young) until one day, I just close my eyes. No illness, no fragility, no ‘DY-ING’…just DEATH.
We do it every night, after all.
Couldn’t resist putting this in here, sorry all!