How Do You Deal With Death?

  • Paradigm_Shif...

    Posts: 251

    Jun 24, 2008 12:04 AM GMT
    My father, who was 53 years old, died suddenly on Fathers Day, June 15th. (Trust me, I WISH I was making it up....) He had surgery on his spinal cord the prior thursday and was recovering well, when Sunday he lost consciousness and died. They said the cause was a blood clot to the lung.

    I was completely out to him, and although he was never fully approving of me being gay, we were on really good terms. I don't have any regrets and Im so proud of the life he lived. I know he was proud of me, and we had grown a lot closer in the months leading up to his death.

    I guess the reason why I am posting is just to hear how everyone else deals with death. His funeral is tomorrow and the weight of it all is beginning to sink in..

    How do you feel about death?

    Do you believe in an afterlife?

    Do you think death has a meaning, or is it just as random as it seems?

    Thanks for letting me vent....

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    Jun 24, 2008 12:49 AM GMT
    Paradigm_Shift saidMy father, who was 53 years old, died suddenly on Fathers Day, June 15th. (Trust me, I WISH I was making it up....) He had surgery on his spinal cord the prior thursday and was recovering well, when Sunday he lost consciousness and died. They said the cause was a blood clot to the lung.

    I was completely out to him, and although he was never fully approving of me being gay, we were on really good terms. I don't have any regrets and Im so proud of the life he lived. I know he was proud of me, and we had grown a lot closer in the months leading up to his death.

    I guess the reason why I am posting is just to hear how everyone else deals with death. His funeral is tomorrow and the weight of it all is beginning to sink in..

    How do you feel about death?

    Do you believe in an afterlife?

    Do you think death has a meaning, or is it just as random as it seems?

    Thanks for letting me vent....

    Tribute.jpg



    Dude...you look just like your pops!!!

    I am really sorry to hear about your loss! You can look at it as your pops sipping OJ/champagne with Jesus now!

    I would not say that I am immune to death b/c I know for sure that if someone close to me were to die I would have a hard time dealing with the loss. However, I have lately experienced death alot just from taking a specific class offered at my university where students conduct research in the Emergency Department. I observed alot of horrific shit (excuse the lack of a better word) while in the class, and it, to some extent, desensitized me. I wrote my med school essay about how the imminence of death fits within the realities of becoming a physician.

    I definitely do believe in an after life...per what I said about what your pops might be doing right now.

    In terms of death having meaning: I guess it could from a metaphysical/philisophical standpoint. However, one could simply view the act of dying as the loss of life or the separation of the soul from the body!!!!
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    Jun 24, 2008 12:52 AM GMT
    Paradigm_Shift, my condolences to you and your family and friends! Best thing I can say is revel in his life, your bond with him and take each moment as they come as well as each day, it will get easier.
  • Bunjamon

    Posts: 3161

    Jun 24, 2008 1:06 AM GMT
    I'm sorry about your loss, man.

    It might sounds super corny and stupid and cliché, but the HBO show Six Feet Under really changed the way I feel about death and humans' impending mortality. Life is too short to be unhappy and to leave things unsaid and to hold grudges and all of that. We all die, everyone we've ever loved or hated will die, and we have very little control over any of it. When your time is up your time is up. So live each day as if it were your last. I feel like I've just spewed every dumb phrase I can think of about death but I truly believe all of these things.

    As for an afterlife, I don't believe in it. I think we just return to the earth and start pushing daisies, so to speak.
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    Jun 24, 2008 1:09 AM GMT
    Death is the One thing that makes us equal, as man was not born equal. But we all die sometime, no matter whom we are, our birth status, IQ, religion, if we have one. Or color. How much cash we have in the bank.

    We all die sometime.

    Death for me is just another appointment I will have to keep.

    As for afterlife. No-ones ever come back to tell us.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19136

    Jun 24, 2008 1:14 AM GMT
    Death doesn't bother me so much, it's the act of dying that scares me.







    P.S. So sorry to hear about your father's sudden death. I lost my dad 4 years ago this month and it was not an easy time.
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    Jun 24, 2008 1:39 AM GMT
    I don't fully know. I kind-of look at Death as a two faced person. (Almost like Twoface from Batman) Depending on how you look at Death, it can be truly beautiful and alluring, or it can be this ugly thing that you fear.

    I see Death as more of a release and a beginning. You can’t get sick any more, you can’t get hurt anymore, you don’t have to deal with finals, finances, politics, or anything else, and you can finally be free.

    To me, Death is a beautiful thing. I have already made it perfectly clear that I want to be cremated and have half of my ashes scattered at a beach and the bigger half (secretly) scattered all over Disneyland and the Fantasmic! stage. (Secretly cause I am pretty sure it would be illegal to do it there.)

    Plus, if you look at it this way, everyone dies so it is better to be accepting of it and to embrace it when it comes. I’d say that it is best to live like you were dying and as if today was your last day. But, it is not worth living if you are going to fear it and act as if you will die by doing things (i.e. flying to your vacation destination).

    As for the meaning of death, I have my ideas, but I think it is more “to each his own.” I think that life makes sense at the end and all the answers actually come to those that have seen it through.

    I do honestly believe that you do go to a better place. (I might get slack for this, but) I drowned once and it was beautiful and so peaceful. All the things that I heard and saw, if I had to choose how I go, I’d actually prefer to drown again.

    I don’t know if any of that actually helped or not. I hope it did somehow. If you need someone to talk to, I’d be happy to lend an ear and a shoulder.
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    Jun 24, 2008 1:40 AM GMT
    Like life, you live it.



    We will all live it eventually. And thank the universe because there are some really holier than thou people out there living lives of extreme extravagance and materialisum. Having EGO's the size of the national debt.

    Death is the great equalizer. It brings humility to any soul who thinks there bigger than life or another life. It brings us out of the "sophisticated" selfish little spaces most of us have built for ourselves. It takes the silly "professional" names we have givin, along with unfair salaries and illusionary status - turns them upside down and shakes them into spiritual clarity.

    Funny this thing called death, to which I too am sometimes afriad. But so greatful to it also, for it brings us all together as one no matter what race creed or sexual prefrence. Finally.

    All of our silly attempts at shallow greatness are but part of an inconsequential story line. In a book full of story's to which need not be written for profit. For the universe has provided each of us with an experience of ourselves, and one day you will find you also helped make that decision.

    Here in this country they tell you death is bad. Death is the end, death is to be stuffed into the back of your conciousness while we sell you the next model lexus. Most are all running collectively, trying to avoid the unavoidable.

    I believe you live more than one life. More than one way, you will live rich you will live poor, you will live long you will live short. You will live able bodied, you will live disabled. But in every way and ever circumstance each time you return, it will be like the bad dreams you have woken up from, only to find you were resting safely the whole time in your bed. You will have woken up to find you were resting safley in the arms of a great and loving universe. To which no harm could really be done because we are all promised infinite life. All while realizing and remembering the great beings we are in the process. Gaining universal perspective and having fun along the way.


    So what in this moment of witnessing someone's death do we choose? To celebrate there life and to show others its ok to do the same. Or spread the false and generational old fear as death being something wrong with life.

    I choose the first. In peace mom wherever you may be. Whoever you may be.
  • SFTraveler

    Posts: 171

    Jun 24, 2008 1:59 AM GMT
    My heart goes out to you!

    I'm hardly one to give advice about dealing with death because I've never dealt with it well myself. My mother's death due to suicide sent me on a downward spiral into drugs that nearly killed me and took years from which to recover.

    Only my faith in God eventually saved me, plus the spiritual guidance of my priest/confessor/therapist who eventually taught me that I was not responsible for her death and that death is part of God's plan for all of us.

    The key question he posed: When you die, what will you tell God that you accomplished? He doesn't care if you earned lots of money or had a nice car or won awards. He'll want to know what good did you do for others?

    So, my advice is to honor your father's memory by being the best person you can be - doing even the simplest things for people. Help them in their times of need, even if it's just providing a listening ear to a friend or giving a sandwich or piece of fruit to a homeless person.

    In the short term, don't hesitate to grieve for your father - let it all out and get support for yourself from friends or family or even a grief counseling group. Then think about all the things your father taught you and how it has been a part of the man you are today.

    Good luck and God bless! icon_sad.gif
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    Jun 24, 2008 2:06 AM GMT
    Shift, sorry to hear about your dad. Death is one of a loved one is one if the hardest lessons life has to give us. I lost my parents. Their deaths were about 3 years apart, I can tell you its not easy. Infact it fucking sucks. Today will go by as well as tomorrow. Time heals pain, but doen't cure it. Remember him for the good, for the bad, but always remember him. I can't tell you what its like after you pass, who really knows. Till it happens you won't know either.

    I find I remember them at odd times. Sittuations will arise and I will be reminded of dad or mom. It's like my time over seas, doesn't come up in conversation everyday, but when the conversation is there, you remember them and you remember what it was like.

    Anyway, you have a long road man. Leasons in life are being learned. Live for today and love the ones you love very hard. Life truely is short.
  • cityguy39

    Posts: 967

    Jun 24, 2008 2:26 AM GMT
    I know what it's like to lose your dad, my died when I was eight. We all deal with death in our own way. When my father died I had already prepared myself for something horrible to happen to my mother, I was on edge for the whole year after his death. I was terrifed to go home from school for fear that I would walk through the door and my mom wouldn't be there and that I would have take care of my two younger sisters myself. Death can be a hard thing to understand even as a adult.

    Doug
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    Jun 24, 2008 2:27 AM GMT
    Life is not short. Only peoples contemplation on death is.
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    Jun 24, 2008 2:36 AM GMT
    My condolescences in the loss of your father.

    I was present at my father's death. He slowly died with his breathing slowly becoming shallower and shallower. Finally, his breathing just stopped.

    The night before his eyes were vigorously flitting back and forth. As the oxygen to his brain dropped, the neural circuitry was breaking down and probably memories or all new perceptions were flashing before him.

    As I left the hospice that night, I was struck by the passing of a life...life itself...was leaving my father. How could Nature not take notice of something so miraculous as life coming to an end was beyond me.

    Along the lines of be careful what you wish for, it rained that night and flood the downstairs of the family home. So after being up all night handling the flooded house, we went to the hospice the next morning and was there for my father's passing at 1:20 in the afternoon of May 6, 1989.

    ...............

    At the time of my own diagnosis of cancer, I had to face the possibility of dying. And with the diagnosis that my cancer was highly aggressive and advanced, it was imminent.

    I could never have imagined how I reacted to the news. So I am sure I can not definitely guess how I will react when some day...long long from now, I hope....I am finally and definitely told that the end is imminent.

    However, after having had to go thru this experience, I will not have as strong an emotional response.

    It has changed my values in life. Health is primier now. My money and efforts go into restoring my health. Any money left go for the gizmos and whatnot in life.
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    Jun 24, 2008 2:40 AM GMT
    samer08
    ITS NOT SAD. Careful what you think of death for you will arrive at its door the same way you feel of it.

    calson4000
    Nature doesnt take notice of "life leaving a body" because it knows of no such thing. To Nature life is in constant transition- what notice is there to take?

    Energy is neither created or destroyed but only changes form (transforms).
  • Paradigm_Shif...

    Posts: 251

    Jun 24, 2008 3:04 AM GMT
    Thanks for all of the perspectives everyone. It is a difficult time, but I find that when I spend time reflecting on it and thinking about it, it helps me to cope. (As opposed to trying to burry it and pretend that everything is fine, which is kinda what I want to do... lol).

    I've experienced death before with my grandmother and other people in my life, but nothing as sudden as this or with someone so close.

    I'm still trying to decipher my own thoughts and feelings on death and it helps to learn from all of you. Thanks.

    Bunjamom- Yeah, Six Feet Under is amazing. Used to watch it religiously lol.
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    Jun 24, 2008 4:01 AM GMT
    Paradigm_Shift saidThanks for all of the perspectives everyone. It is a difficult time, but I find that when I spend time reflecting on it and thinking about it, it helps me to cope. (As opposed to trying to burry it and pretend that everything is fine, which is kinda what I want to do... lol)..
    I think you are on the right path. I had lost loved ones too, but when I lost my little brother it really hit me hard. I felt like I sort of raised him and was responsible for him. But I just let my mind go over it all it needed to and in a weeks time I was at least back working, and had closure.

    I found that I was remembering and "re-playing" all of our childhood memories. It was just my mind transitioning him from living to a "living memory" I even had talks with him in my mind. I came to a conclusion that I had the best I could get from him in the form of those memories and a kind of "virtual presence" of him inside me.

    There lots of nice platitudes and expressions well intentioned people can give you to make you feel better, but ultimately you are the expert of your own relationship with your dad. Only you can deal with and process those feelings and the best way to do it is with and open mind and like you said not burying it. You have perspectives and relational feelings with your Dad that only you can know. Its your own personal treasure that no one else can share. It is bitter-sweet, but a rare treasure that is all yours.
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    Jun 24, 2008 4:07 AM GMT
    Paradigm_Shift saidMy father, who was 53 years old, died suddenly on Fathers Day, June 15th. (Trust me, I WISH I was making it up....) He had surgery on his spinal cord the prior thursday and was recovering well, when Sunday he lost consciousness and died. They said the cause was a blood clot to the lung.

    I was completely out to him, and although he was never fully approving of me being gay, we were on really good terms. I don't have any regrets and Im so proud of the life he lived. I know he was proud of me, and we had grown a lot closer in the months leading up to his death.

    I guess the reason why I am posting is just to hear how everyone else deals with death. His funeral is tomorrow and the weight of it all is beginning to sink in..

    How do you feel about death?

    Do you believe in an afterlife?

    Do you think death has a meaning, or is it just as random as it seems?

    Thanks for letting me vent....

    Tribute.jpg



    First things first...............cry...scream and shout.......get nuts..........get arr4ested....get drunk......get it out of your susyem,,,,,,call your friends at any hour of the night and talk.....or cry.........your real freinds will let you do that and not even embaress you by talking about it later....just face and eat up the anger....go muts at the gym ot wherever.... and stuff.......don't do the smiley face....be a bitch.
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    Jun 24, 2008 4:19 AM GMT
    Paradigm Shift, My deepest sorrows. I know how you feel, I just lost my dad on June 3rd. It's never easy bud and when it's sudden, it's even harder because you have not had any chance to start the grieving process. This process really needs to proceed and as it does you'll feel sorrow, anger, sadness, whatever and it's all OK. It's OK to cry, be depressed some and just want to be alone, let yourself have that, don't try and fight it as it is the process to healing. As I've mentioned in other related postings, there's no time frame for you to "be over it". Many will say a year, that's not a set rule. For my mother it was over 2 yrs before one day suddenly with tears in my eyes, I realize, it was OK to let her go and every since that day, I've been fine. Before that, I would just cry without notice if the mood hit me. Now I think of her often but in love and goodness. I'm sure the same will happen with my dad.

    Keep your faith, it's important and don't be afraid to just weep uncontrollably, after all this is someone you loved and you miss very much.

    Again, I'm so sorry for your loss... you're in my prayers.

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    Jun 24, 2008 4:28 AM GMT
    Like those who have posted before me, I am very sorry for your loss. Death is very hard and I've had to deal with it a lot in my life. At times I think that I've numbed myself to it, however I still cry when I think of many of the people that I have lost. And even though I thought that I had toughened myself to it, several months back when I thought that I was going to die, I layed there on the operating table and cried.

    But I do have a strong belief in an after-life. And I know that We'll all meet again or even live another life together again.

    Take the day to celebrate your fathers life. Cry, laugh, joke and cry some more. He is still so alive in your heart and you'll feel his presence around you until the day you are together again.

    Peace my brother.
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    Jun 24, 2008 4:47 AM GMT
    Lost my Dad about 6 weeks ago. His birthday would have been on Father's Day Damn you cancer!
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    Jun 24, 2008 4:55 AM GMT
    polobutt saidLike those who have posted before me, I am very sorry for your loss. Death is very hard and I've had to deal with it a lot in my life. At times I think that I've numbed myself to it, however I still cry when I think of many of the people that I have lost. And even though I thought that I had toughened myself to it, several months back when I thought that I was going to die, I layed there on the operating table and cried.

    But I do have a strong belief in an after-life. And I know that We'll all meet again or even live another life together again.

    Take the day to celebrate your fathers life. Cry, laugh, joke and cry some more. He is still so alive in your heart and you'll feel his presence around you until the day you are together again.

    Peace my brother.


    That was truly deep and sweet. I've never had a roll model, not seek ed one. But if I was on the market for one. I believe you would be a very good choice!

    Paradigm Shift. Sorry for not being able to say sorry. Don't know why. But it's just something I've never been able to say, on some-ones death. Maybe because I am yet to loose someone I love via death?
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    Jun 24, 2008 5:03 AM GMT
    Death is a funny subject, its something that I've been surrounded with my entire life, yet you really never know what its like until you experience losing a loved one. My parents owned a funeral home for thirty years, so I've kinda seen a lot of it. My older brother was killed in a car wreck a year ago, in April. It has been a very interesting time.

    The best way to deal with death is live one day at a time, and to surround yourself with the best people you can. There will probably be times that you feel like your burdening your friends, depending on how you are dealing with his death. Death is all consuming, and atleast for me, my mind and body felt exhausted for quite some time.

    People will probably tell you that time will help heal the pain, and honestly it will probably take longer than you think. Time helps you learn how to cope, you will have good days, where you think you are handling it well, and then you will have bad days. It gets kinda exhausting having an emotional roller coaster.

    My family postponed my brothers funeral almost a week and a half after his death, (most burials happen about 3 days after). That week was one of the most exhausting times, I've ever experienced. There was some closure after the burial, and I hope you gain some peace after the funeral is over.

    It was really weird, to me, which friends became the best support for me. Death is kinda of taboo subject, in the US, and a lot of people don't really know what to say. There really isn't a lot too say because nothing you say actually helps. I was surprised by the people who didn't say anything, and even more surprised by the people that re-entered my life because of my brother's death.

    Grieving is specific to each person. I had a hard time with my family because I wasn't as public, with my grief, as others were. Don't let anyone tell you how you should be acting. It took me probably six months to actually cry. It was weird,I of course was extremely sad, but it was as if my body couldn't cry. So my advice there is, do what you need to do.

    As for after-life, if it brings you peace believing that you will one day see your father again, then believe. I 100% believe I will see my brother again, and I look forward to that day. So I hope that I haven't written too much, but I wanted to include a piece by Kahlil Gabrin that I found to help me... I hope you will be able to find some peace in the coming days..

    On Pain
    Kahlil Gibran

    Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.
    Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.
    And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy;
    And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.
    And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.
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    Jun 24, 2008 8:00 AM GMT
    My condolences.

    However I do not have much experience with death. So I can't offer any advice. icon_sad.gif
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    Jun 24, 2008 8:04 AM GMT
    My condolences to you.
    There is no way of dealing with it its a private thing for the individual only but time heals.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Jun 24, 2008 11:31 AM GMT
    Paradigm,
    I'm really sorry to hear about your Dad. I'm sure its been difficult. I'm glad you will always know you Dad knew you loved him and vice versa. I've always had a good relationship with my father.. there are some that never get a chance to connect with their Dad the way you did.

    Death is difficult, many (including my own family members) just don't want to deal with it and in the process they don't prepare legally the way they should and leave the people they love in difficult situations as a result. We all should prepare so our loved ones don't have to deal with it later. Its enough to deal with the loss.

    Again, I'm so very sorry you had to lose your Dad at all.. and especially that weekend. Know you will be in our hearts and prayers.