Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Weird Freckle (and other ramblings about death)



I had a suspicious freckle on my stomach. They removed it last week. I said I would go to the appointment by myself. This is about the tenth suspicious freckle I've had removed, after all. But we got new insurance. And I hadn't seen this doctor before. So Scott pretended he wanted to go and came with me. Now all that's left of the freckle is a little cut covered by a blue bandaid. Soon it will be a scar like all the rest.


Suspicious freckles have a tendency to disturb me because some small, hypochondriac side of me has always wondered if this would be the way I was going to die. I don't mean that to sound morbid. I think this is because my paternal grandmother I never met died from a weird freckle. Do other people wonder how they're going to die?

In one of my favorite movies Big Fish, the dad, the tall-tale telling kind, talks often about a witch whose glass eye could see the future. As the story goes, you could see how you were going to die if you looked straight in her eye. Would you look? Would you want to know how you were going to die? I don't think I would, but I can't say that with real certainty since I've never been presented with the opportunity. 

I saw Betty White on Conan the other week. She's awfully old, in case you weren't aware; 92 to be exact. Maybe she'll live to 192. Who's to say? But the topic of dying came up seeing as some people might think she could be relatively closer than other folks (although, again, who's to say?). Anyways, she said she wasn't scared of dying at all. A lot of people say that, but I believed her. She said her family used to say that the one thing no one in the whole world can know is what it's like after you die. "It's the biggest secret", they told young Betty White. After a member of her family would die, they would say "Now they know the secret!" Betty White said she's looking forward to finding out what it is, whenever that may be. I can't say I'm looking forward to finding out the secret yet, but I know it must be a good one. I think I've always known that. 

The other night I had a talk with my mom about my fear of death. Specifically her's and my dad's. How I feel this overwhelming worry that I will never be able to express my love for them enough in their lifetime. How I worry about saying the wrong thing or getting in a fight with them, and then losing them soon after. How if I say I'd rather take a nap than go shopping in the design district with them, I feel an irrepressible guilt, even though I do want to take a nap and sometimes do my own thing. My mom said she and my dad always know how much I love them. They can tell in everything I do. She said not to worry about not wanting to do everything they do. It's normal to want to go your own way sometimes.
My mom said you can never hurt a person's feelings as long as you are acting out of love. I hope that's true. 


Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary."~ Mr. Rogers

14 comments:

  1. i never think too deep about how i would die, but more to like when. i know that death is the most certain thing in the world. i don't know what i'm gonna be tomorrow. i don't know if i could ever climb mt. everest. but i know for sure that i will die. i just don't know when. ha. i think about how my parents and loved ones will die too one day, and that scares me sometimes. i wouldn't look to the witch eye. i really don't think i would.

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    1. You're right, it is the most certain thing in the world. I never thought of it that way. It's probably best not to worry about how or when, but it's hard not to. Death is a part of life, after all.

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  2. I totally know how you feel. I constantly feel that my life has been so great that something horrible is bound to happen or that I am destined to go young, but I do my best to redirect that fear into cherishing everyday I do have the best I can. It doesn't always work, ask my husband about my monthly melt downs...but the good days definitely out-weigh the bad and so with that I find peace in focusing on how fulfilling my life has been up until this point. Thanks for being so open!

    xo

    Michaela

    http://michaelajeanblog.com

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    1. I think that's probably the healthiest approach to death: finding peace in life by focusing on the good. It's not easy though. I was just thinking the other day that I sometimes get more anxious when things are good. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Michaela!

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  3. It baffles me that there are people who are not afraid of death. What could be more terrifying? But I still try to not let it take up too much of my mind.

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    1. yeah usually when people say they aren't afraid of death, I am skeptical. But if you aren't, that must be a good, healthy place to be mentally.

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  4. I have never commented on here before but have read your blog for well over a year now. Thank you for this, for being so honest through your posts. I have a terrible fear of death that leads to panic attacks the majority of the time. For a moment, you made death seem beautiful to me. Weird. I never even thought that death could be beautiful.

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    1. Thank you for sharing and being so honest! It was really nice to hear from you and also to know that other people share some of the same fears and feelings. Betty White's words really helped me think about death in a more positive way too.

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  5. Seeing death as the biggest secret that we can all one day discover is a wonderful thought. Who doesn't like knowing a secret?
    I will hold on to this thought from now on. When it comes to death, I try to remind myself to live in the here and now, not the future.

    With my husband being 25 years older than me, him dying before me has always been my biggest worry - I don't think I will ever be able to shake it off. But I try not to think about it often.

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    1. You're right! Who doesn't want to know a secret? Betty White's words definitely gave me more peace of mind in relation to death and dying too. I think it's good to focus on the here and now, even though I don't always do it. It's good to think about death as a part of life that isn't negative, even though I don't always do that either.

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  6. I think a lot of us have a fear of death because we're all relatively young. Some are just getting started in life, and others have already started on their families. It's sad to think about what we'd be leaving behind if we died. So many things that we'd miss out on or leave unfinished. Then if we think about someone in our family or even one of our friends that we care about dying it's just as bad because we are the ones they're leaving behind. This is why I always hope that I am showing my love for those I care about, always. Because whether it's me or them that goes first, I want them to know that I loved them. :)

    Death itself doesn't really scare me because like you said, it will eventually happen. I just hope and pray that it will happen when I'm 92 years old like Mrs. Betty White. I'm sure she's at peace with it because of how much she's already experienced. She's lived many years and seen many things in her lifetime. She's experienced many of the great, terrible, and joyous moments life has to offer a person. I'm not saying she's in a hurry for it, just that by this point she's okay with it.

    All of that said, I do have a fear of dying young and leaving my daughter behind. I know my husband would care for her, but there are so many things I'd miss out on that I'd really rather not. My all time worst fear though would be losing my daughter first. I don't think I could bare a loss like that. It would completely break me.

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    1. Thank you for being so open and honest Raquel. I feel like I don't know how I would carry on if something happened to someone in my family too. They are so many of the reasons your life is good. Actually though, at my wedding, I was positive my grandparents were there in spirit. It was like I could feel them around me and the happiest tears came to my eyes. I know a lot of people say "they will always be with you", but that day (and ever since) I was sure that was true.

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  7. I think about death a lot and what you said about your parents is how I feel, too. Things are good right now, and I want to be happy and enjoy everything, because I know that in a few years they might not be. It’s scary, and it makes me too sad when I dwell on it. It’s always in the back of my mind, though. There has to be something else. It’s too depressing to fathom anything but. I wouldn’t want to know how I was going to die, because as long as it’s some uncertain cloud I can pretend it’s not there. I love the quote at the bottom of the post. It’s so true that sharing our feelings and worries make things less scary since we know we’re all in the same boat:) I definitely found myself feeling better and nodding along as I read your post:)

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  8. I think we all have those thoughts about death. I'm not sure if you've heard the story of Jesus or not, but I believe what he said that's recorded in the Bible, that he is the only way to have life after death. Lots of people believe different things about Heaven & Hell and the afterlife or whatever, and we can all believe whatever we want, but something has to be true. And I believe that if we believe that Jesus is God and came to give us life, then we can be 100% sure that we die we will spend eternity with God. I also have a hunch that Heaven will be beautiful & filled with lots of islands and crystal clear water to swim in :)

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