Death

My recent post on my volunteer work in hospice sprang in part from the fact that the subject of death is so much on my mind these days. There are several reasons why.

First, the pandemic. Well before the end of February, more than 500,000 Americans will have died from covid-19. The press reports this horrifying figure with such nonchalance that I begin to see that the U.S. is accepting a half million deaths as perfectly okay. No big deal.

Second, my partner of many years died last March. That brought home to me the naked facticity of death in a way nothing else could have.

Third, I’ve now lived well past the average age of death for American males. I’m in excellent health, better than any contemporary I know. And while I’m determined to live to be a hundred, I have to accept that the likelihood of my death grows greater by the day.

We Americans shun any discussion of death as being in poor taste, just as we avoid menti0ing sex and the ways that the human body relieves itself. It’s as if not talking about these facts of daily life will make them go away.

Meanwhile, the prospect of death haunts me these days. I know it’s coming. I just don’t know when. I haven’t accepted the inevitability of my own death. I still struggle with the very idea.

It would behoove me to come to terms with death. I don’t know how to do it.

3 thoughts on “Death”

  1. As a child we went to wakes, viewings, whatever. Death was a part of the cycle of life, just as birth was. It is interesting that we as a society now hide death from our children, don’t talk about. In some cases even the death of a pet is hidden or not discussed. Some of my earliest memories were seeing my great grandfather during a viewing. Living on a farm we saw animals die frequently, we lived the seasons good and bad. We have lost much of our connection with nature. Dallas

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  2. We see it the same way, Dallas, but unlike you, I grew up in a family that never spoke of death. It took Vietnam and other wars to force me to realize that death is a part of daily life.

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