Of Death and Things

I just made a long post on Facebook about how cynical I am getting about life and its purpose. For those of you that don’t have me on Facebook, I’ll share it here:

I’m starting to get very cynical about life and its purpose. I haven’t, in the past five years, had much of a reprieve from death or severe illness in others in my life. Whether it is friends, family, pets (both mine and of friends), friends of family, family of friends or someone else I’m connected with, it seems like one thing after another. My last psychiatrist warned me I might venture down this path at some point. But my question is, do I ever get a break? Maybe it’s selfish, but I just want a span of 6 months or more where something doesn’t end in death or severe hospitalization.

I, that I can think of right now off the top of my head while a migraine bangs at my skull from the inside, have one friend who has been in and out of the hospital more this year than not and not a day goes by where I don’t think about her and worry. She’ll probably read this. But when I did visit her in the hospital, it was hard not to cry. I know I should go down to Milwaukee and see her at St Luke’s, but I don’t think I can make that drive between my dizzy spells and an overwhelming surge of emotions.

I also have a dear friend whose mother is fighting her third bout of cancer. Started in her breasts and they thought they beat it. It traveled to her brain, again, they thought they beat it. Found out the other day that the cancer has now spread to her liver. They are starting chemo on the 27th. I’m trying to be optimistic for his sake, but I’m finding myself just shaking my fist at the sky and demanding, “Who next, Universe? Who next?”

If my faith wasn’t full of imperfect divine beings, I would have probably lost all faith in religion at this point. But I don’t pray for things in my religion, at least not for miracles. I pray for strength and inspiration and I find the gods are far more willing to give those boons than they are to rescue someone from the brink of death. *sigh*

It’s not that far off, really. This was prompted by the death of a dear festival-friend. He passed from this world last night and his partner posted to update all of us this morning. I can’t imagine PSG without his smiling face, his laugh, his playful quips and just… him. I’ve lost three PSG friends this year. I’ve lost family this year. Friends have lost family this year. Numerous friends have lost pets this year and so forth. 2012 has sucked hardcore.

Skip’s death struck such a chord with us, as Satyrs, as we were all very close until Leukemia made it impossible for him to come to PSG anymore. But he still called us on a regular basis and he and my husband would sit on the phone for hours. His apprentice, Danny, contacted me shortly after his death and said that one of Skip’s dying wishes was that he keep in touch with all of us. We knew his death was coming, but that didn’t make it any easier.

Aileen’s death was a complete surprise. As acute MI’s generally are. She was young, only in her 20’s, but she was just the kind of person you could talk to about anything. Many nights she and I would wander the grounds of PSG, especially if I was working the overnight that night, and just talk about the life, the universe and everything. She passed shortly before PSG this year.

At PSG this year, I received a phone call from home telling me that my grandfather was being moved to hospice. He died a couple months later.

Right after PSG, a dear local friend discovered his mother’s breast cancer, that they thought they had beat, had spread to her brain. It’s now in her liver. I’m not sure she’s going to recover from this at this point.

Last year after PSG both myself and this same friend had our cats gets irreversibly ill and died.

A few years before that… we lost TJ and that broke my heart in so many ways I didn’t know how to cope with it. He was so young. Too young, as far as I was concerned. My heart cried for Nathan, his partner, at having few to help him through that difficult time as TJ’s family effectively ripped everything of TJ’s but their memories away from Nathan so close on the heels of TJ’s passing that there was no time to mourn before Nathan was out on the street and so forth. Some people are such assholes.

I think I’ve figured out why I’m not so keen on the idea of returning to PSG this year. The past couple years have me associating PSG with death or illness. Mostly death. I don’t cope with death well, not that I really think anyone does, but I just sort of shut down. Part of that is my poor coping mechanisms from my disorders, part of that is uncertainty about the afterlife. I like to believe that there is life after death. I don’t believe in the all-encompassing Summerlands like many pagans of no specific path do. I like to believe there are three parts of the Underworld that depending on how I live my life, I will go to. But I don’t think I will encounter all my pets of past, friends and family and that we’ll all be reunited in some magical afterlife. I like to believe if I live a life worthy of it, I’ll go to Elysium; that if I live a relatively normal, but good, life… I’ll got to Asphodel. Or if I live a life worthy of the damned, I’ll go to Tartarus. Not entirely in line with the beliefs of the ancients, but it’s my version.

But I don’t know if I believe that at my core. Since I don’t believe in cosmic reuniting after death, maybe that really is just the end of it all. That there was no higher purpose, no real reason to live a good life and be kind to undeserving assholes rather than punching them in their head-holes like they deserve, that there’s no justification for not doing and taking what we want, when we want. If we just… disappear… what’s the point?

And that scares me. As much as I want to believe in an afterlife, there is not calculated proof of it. I don’t buy into most paranormal stuff, as at least 95% of it can be explained away by simple science a 5 year old can do. So, when trouble strikes, I have difficulty dealing with the aftermath. What is the point?

I was going to make a post today about Thanksgiving, regardless of how secular it is, but I think I’m going to take a day and mourn. To think of all my happy memories of Stevie and try to honor his memory as best I can. Maybe I’ll figure out something about myself in all of this, maybe not. But he deserves me to cherish his memories.

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One Comment to “Of Death and Things”

  1. I have no words of comfort, I can only offer support. I’m so very sorry you’re going through all of this. We all doubt, at some point. We are, after all, only mortals–only humans. Good luck, and much strength to you. May the Theoi hear your pleas.

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