Monday, July 23, 2007

Killing Me Softly

  After the hamsters death last week...

I started thinking about the kids and how they were coping with it.

I also started thinking about this brain tumor, and how just knowing it is there has put a sharper focus on my own mortality.

Then, I started thinking about death, in general. 

Yeah, I know... uh oh.  lol  So, here I am sharing some of those thoughts with you.

As humans, we are the only living beings that KNOW we are going to die.  As 'sentient' beings we are aware of ourselves, aware of our thoughts, aware of our limitations as a species, and thusly, aware of our own impending deaths, as well as those of our loved ones.

That is huge when you think about it.  No other species on Earth 'gets' that.  Dogs, cats, monkeys, dolphins... They don't 'know' that they are going to die.  That their child could or that their parents will... they just don't understand the concept of 'death'. 

Of course, that isn't to say that they don't have the will or drive to live or survive.  However, it is innate, it is instinctual for them, not part of their thought process.  There is no awareness of 'self', or introspection for them.

Interesting, isn't it?  Some would say that they might be better off, and some would feel it for certain. 

I don't think so.  Knowing is a gift.  We know life is a gift. 

Yes, it is hard.  Yes, there is pain and loss.  But there is joy, and love, and happiness... you just have to feel it and be open to it. 

There is a great quote by Pope Paul IV that I want to share with you:

<FONTFACE="COMIC size="4" MS? Sans>"Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows."

I love this quote because of it's spirit and it's truth. 

I don't think anyone has to 'tell us' right from the start as we do slowly come to the realization fast enough, in my opinion.  The hard part is to keep that urgency pushing you to live your life to the fullest. 

Do the things you want to do.  See the things you want to see.  Learn the things you want to learn.  Make lists and goals, and even if it is little steps, begin to take them.  Find the balance between 'making a living' and 'following your bliss'.

Appreciate the people around you, and let them know how much they mean to you.  You may not get to tell them tomorrow, so do it today.  Do it every day.  Speak the words; don't assume 'they know' how you feel.

Listen to your family and friends.  Don't stop there though, don't just listen, hear it fully, and validate their thoughts, feelings, and concerns. 

Each of us is immortal in that we will live in the memories of those that are left behind.  That is true for us all, no matter if we believe in an afterlife or do not. 

It may be your kids, your siblings, or your friends.  Maybe it will be those you worked along side with, while helping others, or rescuing animals.  Maybe it will be people here in J-Land who always remember your writing, your kind comments, your kindness. 

All of us have the opportunity to affect others and be remembered by them. 

And that is pretty amazing.

So, don't live in fear, don't live in your head.  Reach out to those around you and find the joy. 

Because all the cliche's are true.

Life is too short.

You only live once.

Time stops for no one. 

be well,


tenyearnap said...

Life is VERY short, indeed. --Cin

astoriasand said...

So true time waits for no man,make the most of every day, as you say.Lets put it this way.My sixty years have flown by and it is unbelievable how quickly they have too.Take Care God Bless Kath

sdoscher458 said...

What you have written is so very true. It's not what you do, who you are...more like who you touch, love and make memories with.  Recently, my sisters and I listened to a tape that our Mom had made of our grandmothers (on each side) and it was a joyous occasion to hear their loved voices once more. I'm trying to finish my Japanese story so that my kids know how they came to be, Iove family history anyway.  I also learned that my Grandmother's grandmother had six kids, dying shortly after the last one was born.  The husband died in the civil war. All the kids were farmed out to relatives...can you imagine? Life is like a long river, never knowing where the bends will take, Sandi

mleighin21st said...

Dawn,  I've never left a comment, but am a frequent reader.  I agree that life is what you make it, and should not be wasted.  I have been inspired by several J-lander's entries, to strive to be a better person, and to work harder to accomplish some of my own goals.  For so long, I've lived a life of waiting for tomorrow, forgetting about the wonders of today(even a bad one).  I want to Thank you for being an inspiration to many, even when just writing about the everyday living.  

eml625 said...

Thank you for this. We all need to remember that life is short, live for today.


swmpgrly said...

I agree 100%

sugarsweet056 said...

Amazing post! I love it & fully agree. {{{{ }}}}

deshelestraci said...

Ok, I thought you were going to be all depressing and stuff!  Good deal!  Glad you put a positive spin on it!  Duh, like I thought you wouldn't!  Miss Carpe Diem!  LOL

glensfork4 said...

I agree wholeheartily....Nice...


rdautumnsage said...

Wonderful post dear heart! I always live that way, there is another quote "Live as if today was your last". It's been around for a while don't know who I would attribute the honor for saying that. I think as we get older we grasp this concept even more. As kids, young adults we think and feel as if we will live forever. If it's any consolance adults today live far longer than we did 100 years ago. (Hugs) Indigo

ktkamanski said...

I thinkl that it's the hearts we touch and being the person we know we are deep inside that keeps me living my life to the fullest! Keep a positive attitude and know that you are here for a reason and that reason is to live! Hope your day is full of smiles!

wildautumn1 said...

I love the quote by Pope Paul IV.  This morning I was stressing about all the things I need to take care of.  Your entry reminded me to slow down & focus!  Have a great day!

emabecmar said...

This is a beautiful entry. It really makes one think. Have a great day. ((((hugs)))))

sangrialel said...

great entry dawn.  Linda

coelha said...

Sooo true!!  That quote you wrote down gave me the chills!  Weird as it sounds, but I started to feel my own sense of mortality only after my father passed away.  I'm not the same person; I think I worry more than ever now.  We all need to be reminded that life is a gift; and we have to live life, and love and laugh and touch as many hearts as we can in this life.  Worrying your life away IS a waste of time.  (((((  Dawn  )))))  :)  I wish we lived closer!   Julie

candlejmr said...

Excellent entry...and I forwarded that quote to all of my family and friends.  How true it is!!!


cacklinrosie101 said...

So true, Dawn, and yet many of us continue to fuss and live each day like there will always be a tomorrow.  Life is too short.  Love the Pope's quote.  I've seen some similar yet I continue on with the "fuss."  Thanks for an eye opener....Love ya, Chris

nay0114 said...

Loved this entry. It is so true and close to heart. Hope you have a great day. I do appreciate so much more that I am older maybe because I have more time.
Take care, Chrissie

tendernoggle said...

Time does not stop for true.
love ya,

pharmolo said...

Thought provoking entry, Dawn. Thank you.

gehi6 said...

I turned 76 yesterday and find myself thinking more often about the transition.  It used to seem unfathomable to me to die.  To be so alive with such consciousness and then no more.  I gravitated toward a belief in universal consciousness that does not die, or rather goes to another realm which is 'forgotten' in this one.  Seems more logical to assume that such consciousness is longer lived than the body with so many parts going wrong in it, it may collapse and not run anymore, just like an old car.  And you step out of it.  In several near death experiences I experienced the leaving of the body to some degree, a sensation of going up.  Once when I went into shock and quit breathing after an experimental tonsilectomy at 15 I had the sensation of zooming upwards many miles an hour with a feeling of ecstacy.  Going to heaven.  My mother told me later the doctor brought in oxygen and I assume when I revived I had the disappointing sensation of falling back to earth again with my throat hurting very badly.  She said I had turned blue. I believe that what you experience at those times tells true.  I had no idea nor did the doctor or she I would go into shock.  He said he would not have performed the operation without anesthetic had he known 'my nerves were so bad.'  I could have told them both that, but my mother was insisting I be the guinea pig.  She liked that doctor!   Gerry  

jckfrstross said...

great entry:) its funny how kids cope with death so much better than adults. i think its because there minds work differently than us adults. have a good week


plittle said...

Does anyone else find that quote outrageously ironic?

Great entry, though, Dawn.

toonguykc said...

It's weird to suddenly get that "mortal" realization at different times, isn't it?  You have a much better attitude about it than I do.  


erarein63 said...

Very well put, Dawn.  We all have to face our mortality.  How we do it and how we live our life is what defines us.  De ;)

donejustwrite said...

Wow, Dawn.  Profound and thought provoking...  I'm feeling like there was a definite reason I logged on today and decided to catch up on my journal reading.

hsauls said...

well said.
I think that's why we all grew so attached to Pam's journal as she was describing her struggle with cancer... it's a rare treat to have access to the thoughts of one who was staring death in the face... and knows it. We're all dying... and we all need to get up every morning and realize what an amazing gift that "one more day" is...

gazker said...

Good writing Dawn, I would question if animals don't know though. See, I think we all know......... Nature made us a certain way, and I have seen animals care for their sick and lay with them till death. I think it's in us all.
Hugs, Gaz xxx

bpslider45 said...

Well said Dawn,
I won't add further as I've already stirred the pot enough over at Paul's.
Be well and as your post states, enjoy all the life you can.