Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Death Becomes Me

I’ve been thinking a lot about death lately—my cat’s death mostly, and my own death, of course—but not in the usual, panic-stricken way. The distinction between my recent thoughts and the thoughts I’ve had most of my adult life, is, recently, my thoughts seem to address mortality from a state of awe, rather than a state of holy shit I’m gonna die right now.

In idle moments, my mind drifts to thoughts of mine and my cat’s deaths, but instead of focusing on the particularities of the deaths, i.e. the pain, or lack there of, the last thoughts, the fear, the loneliness, the tears, the feeling of knowing you’re dying, instead, I find myself thinking of the greater implication of ceasing not to exist. I’m consumed by the enormity and insignificance of the end of a life. People die everyday. Young people, old people, people just like me. They die, everyday. It’s insane.


I’m suddenly baffled by the idea that such a sweet little creature, my cat, so full of life and personality will one day close her eyes, become limp and cease to exist. I don’t know what to make of it, but I do know it’s a perspective of death that I haven’t taken in the recent past.

A step forward? Perhaps…

5 comments:

Addie said...

Leila,
I can remember being about 8 and thinking about death, just realizing that if I was dead, not only would I be dead to those around me, but I wouldn't be around to be aware of the fact that I was dead. It was a hard concept to wrap my mind around at the time, and I guess that hasn't changed. You did make me tear up a little at the thought that my sweet kitties won't be around forever but it's good to be aware enough to make every minute with them (and friends, family, etc) count. Thanks for the insight!
Addie

Sean said...

Yeah... geez Leila. Everyone around me is OLD. I mean like dead old. My mom is fast approaching 70 and 2 of my 3 cats are over 13 years old. I'm a codger too, gosh darn it. My friend, the other day, remarked that I look 40. 40! Fucking spring chickens.

tournesol said...

I remember when one of my boys was about 4, he said to me, "mom, I don't want to die, is there anyone I can talk to about that?" I felt bad for him that I couldn't tell him anything reassuring! It is wierd, we all know in our heads we are going at some point in some way, but every now and then the knowledge grabs me around the heart and I think "holy @@#%$ !!!!

Sean said...

Are you all kidding me? You own mortality is a great thing! Who wants to walk the Earth forever? I couldn't imagine how awful that must be. I'm only saying it's sad when your loved ones go. Hooray death!

Robert said...

What I can't get my head round is the fact that even at the end of your life, you STILL won't know what it's all about!