A Modern Philosopher’s Take on Death

Every Friday The Return of the Modern Philosopher encourages us to engage in deeper thinking with his Friday Night Think Tank series.  This brilliant blogger comes up with something different and captivating to get people thinking every Friday, if you are unfamiliar you need to familiarize yourself asap!  It’s a great way to get involved and get inspired.

This week’s topic: If you had a choice, would you want to die a sudden, unexpected death that left you unable to say goodbye to your loved ones?  Or would you prefer to know death was coming and have time to put your affairs in order and say proper goodbyes?

To get the full affect you need to hop on over to this week’s Friday Night Think Tank, because nobody says it better than our resident Modern Philosopher himself.  Go ahead, I’ll wait.  No really, it will take you three minutes, go read it.

Pretty great, right?  So anyway, I was inspired to continue the discussion over here in my little nook of the internet as my posts of late have been very dark and it seemed fitting.  So here goes…

I would definitely want to die suddenly. When I was a home health aide I cared for a few different hospice patients, so I say from experience that there is nothing more heartbreaking than watching someone die. Especially someone who is ready to die and begs for it daily, there were moments I had to excuse myself to shed a few tears as I tried to be professional. It is just as awful watching the family watch their loved one die a slow death.

Which leads me to another Deep Thought: Is death about the person leaving this world, or the ones he is going to leave behind?  If it’s the latter, then I suppose it would be extremely selfish of me to choose the surprise ending.

As for the second question, I believe death is for those you leave behind. Once you are dead, what do you have to worry or think about? Technically you don’t exist, your life force is gone and your soul has escaped into the universe, so all that remains is what and who you left behind. The impressions we make on people throughout our lives, the way we’ve made people feel is the memory they will carry of us, and that is all that survives of us.

My 88 year old grandmother called while I was writing this and asked what I was working on. I was surprised at her response when I told her, though I suppose I shouldn’t have been considering her age. She said she thinks about these questions every day and she believes there is no better way to go than falling asleep and not waking up. She doesn’t want to be a burden on anyone and she doesn’t want to spend all of her money being cared for as she’s dying.  It makes sense, though I’d rather not think about my grandmother thinking about her own death.  That’s me being selfish, of course my 88 year old grandmother thinks about death.  She lost her soul mate, my grandfather, about five years ago so I can only imagine how she feels.  But my brain doesn’t immediately think logically, I just think about losing my only grandmother and how devastated I will be (see, selfish).

So when we philosophize about death, when we worry or talk about death, what affects us most?  The thought of our own death, or that of a loved one?

I’m not really concerned about my own death, I’m not scared of dying or worried about when it will happen.  Personally, I am most affected by the thought of my loved ones dying.  I don’t handle death well.  What frightens me is being left alone in this unforgiving world without the people that make it worth going through.

What aspect of death affects you most?  How and when you will die?  The loss of a loved one?  I would love to hear your thoughts on this, so please don’t be shy!

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5 thoughts on “A Modern Philosopher’s Take on Death

  1. I was never *really* affected by death until my own father died 18 months ago. What I have observed in myself and his partner is the loss of his presence. There is a space now that was filled by him. And we try to fill that space again with his memories.

    Liked by 1 person

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