I’ve always been fascinated with death. I like to hear stories about exactly how people died and I don’t freak out at funerals. In fact, I like going to them and I like staying until the end. I’m not weird or being insensitive; it’s just my way of dealing with death.
I love listening to other people talk about their loved ones who have passed. And believe me I’ve had my fair share too of delivering eulogies and praying over family members who are literally in their death bed.
I also have my sweet memories – memories of my grandma, my great grandma, my husband’s grandma, my crazy aunt, my friends.
I also have memories of my mom crying after coming home without my baby brother because he had been, “taken by an Angel.” His funeral was like a dream for me.
I remember my mom screaming at my Uncle after finding out her dad had died.
I have memories of my grandmother releasing a single dove to say goodbye to her oldest daughter.
I have many memories of death and how it affects us.
All of these memories, traditions and rituals are a part of how we deal with death. I believe these are the things that give us closure. These actions assure us that our loved ones will never be forgotten, but will live on in our hearts forever.
This year alone brought many deaths in my circle. An old friend who was still very young; and three grandmothers who lived long lives and left their own legacy.
For as long as I can remember death has not really bothered me. Even as a kid I remember staring over my grandfather’s body telling my cousin, “It looks like he’s sleeping.”
I take that back….one crazy lady told me my brother would haunt me, and that was just wrong. So please be careful about the things you say to the young ones. That’s another conversation but do have a plan on how you will deal with that.
Anyway, after reflecting on why I might be so fascinated with death, I came up with three conclusions.
3 Reasons I’m Fascinated with Death
1. Death makes us think about life. To me, a funeral is about celebrating the life of the person who died. It’s a time to reflect on all the amazing things this person has done, a place where all the lives they have touched come together in one place to honor them.
At the same time, I find it hard not to think about my own mortality. Not to be selfish or take away from the dead, but you can’t help but wonder how things would be if the tables were turned. Your mind starts to wander and you begin asking yourself hard questions like, “who will be at my funeral?” or “what legacy will I leave?”
More recently, I started thinking about how we are all getting older. How one day I will have to bury my parents. Because I pray to God they won’t ever have to bury another child. Life is a part of death, and it always will be. You just can’t have one without the other. The more I evaluate and accept that, maybe the better prepared I will be?
2. Death makes us think about loss, but also reminds us to appreciate what we have. People always say, “I’m sorry for your loss.” Have you ever stopped to think about that? What exactly are you losing? How much of it are you losing? There is so much that it cannot be measured. Even when you know it was best for your loved one to move on, it still hurts so much knowing their physical presence will be absent. You start to think of all the people who will be missing out on their awesomeness because they had so much to give.
Then, you realize that you have been blessed by this person. It makes you want to be better, like them, for them. For me, death reminds me to do what I love with the ones I love. It forces me to sit back and truly appreciate what I am blessed with and to not take it for granted. Well, because life is short.
3. Death makes us think about life after death. I’m a Christian. I believe in God and I believe that one day we will meet our creator and walk the golden streets of heaven. I am also emotionally connected to music. I mean I get goose bumps when beautiful sounds make their way to my ears; and I recall memories better when they are tied to a song. So when someone sings a familiar hymn or worship song, like “Amazing Grace” or “I Can Only Imagine” I am brought to tears. I am in awe of something that is greater than me.
I am fascinated with death because I am curious about what’s on the other side.
In my heart of hearts, I believe dealing with death is hard. But if we can embrace life and live to the fullest for ourselves and do everything we can do remember the dead among the living then we will find our way to find comfort with this bitter-sweet fact of life.
How do you deal with death? What are you doing to leave a strong legacy? Please leave a comment below.