19 June 2006

On Dying...

First off, I hate the phrase, "S/he is dead." To me it is so cold, so impersonal. And to me, death isn't impersonal. It affects people. Maybe I am naive, but I rather like, "S/he passed away." There is a softness to it that makes it, to me, more palatable. It makes it seem like they have headed on to their next journey, whatever that may be (and even if it is just a long, dreamless sleep. I don't know, I haven't made my mind up on that).

I have been thinking alot about death the last few days. Makes sense, as my Papa just passed away last Wednesday. The last time I saw him, we were told he didn't have much more time. I don't know if they told him that, but when I went in to see him, he had a ethereal look that told me he knew what was going on. There was a peace about him that I hadn't seen in some time, and he looked at all of us (me, my brother, mom, aunt, cousin, uncle...there were lots of us there) as though it could be his last time. While we were told it would be a few weeks, if not a few months, he took fate into his own hands and set on his trek later that evening.

When I was in college, I wrote a paper about El Dia de la Muerte, a Mexican holiday that celebrates those who have gone before us. In it, I wondered if we know, somehow, when the current day will be our last. Is there something that tells us, this day may be a little different? Even people who die suddenly or horribly, is there somehow that day starts a little different, with a peaceful feeling? I sometimes think this when I swerve around an accident, and don't feel like this is my last day, so it probably won't be.

I like to think that our mind somehow prepares us. Not warn us, because if it is how it is to be, so be it. But kind of makes us see the colors a little brighter, look at people in a different light, feel something different. And this thing I think, it is not like a premonition, or an omen. It is not something we can detect and then stay home all day to try to avoid doing anything. But maybe it is a sense of forgiveness that finally comes in the last seconds, and I hope a sense of peace. And the whole day was preparing you to accept that. I don't know, I don't have it fully fleshed out, but I feel like there should be something there.

This is all morbid, I realize that. But I don't mean it to me. Thinking back to the last time I saw my Papa, I know he knew something. He knew he could stop fighting. But did he know he would pass away that day? I think so. I think he waited until everyone had visited him (in the two or so days he was in the hospital, all of my immediate had been there) and seen that he was ok with what lied ahead. He waited until he was alone in his hospital room, closed his eyes, and went on his merry way. And I think that was just the way he wanted it.

A mi Papa, te amo demasiado para siempre. Y te echo de menos siempre.

1 comment:

Mark said...

I am truely sorry for your loss.
I know how difficult it can be. Two years ago I said my final goodbye's to my father. I also felt that he knew it was his time. We too were told that he would have a few more days or weeks.
I was with my dad when he passed on. it was December 9th and my father had waited for my mother and brothers to go home for a shower. Soon after they left my dad opened his eyes and we chatted for a while. Then he said five words that filled me with joy and dread at the same time. "I'm very proud of you". My father was a gentle man but very rarely discussed his feelings as he was slightly old fashioned. I knew my father had always been proud of me as I was the only member of our family to have been to university. But to hear him say it kind of took away a weight and lifted my spirits. It's hard to explain.
Roughly seven hours later my father passed away. I felt as if everything that I ever needed to say to my dad had been said. from that point on every time I think of my Father I smile or laugh. Sometimes in inappropriate places such as shops, which makes me look odd when I'm shopping for clothes and I begin laughing out loud in the middle of the store. I don't know how this will help you in anyway but I suppose it's good to know that people do have genuine concern in this day and age.
Please accept my condolence's.

'Such Is Life, (My fathers favourite expression)