It's all too short..

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    Jul 09, 2008 5:05 PM GMT
    I have been freaking out lately. nervous about dying, about losing someone else (I just lost my father), etc.
    I had already planned my trip to Cali when I found out my dad died so I only had a few days after the funeral to get myself together and go. In many ways, I figured the time away would do me good. Boarding the plane and breaking down in tears the first few minutes onboard made me nervous I had made the wrong decision. I wasn’t prepared for how cathartic it would be.

    Driving up and down the PCH to Malibu with the windows down everyday last week, seeing the cliffs and the ocean, tasting the salty air, seeing the surfers put on their wet suits on the side of the road, listening to fleetwood mac , sigur ros, and simon and garfunkle made me panicky in the weirdest way. For the first time I can remember, I was actually afraid to die. The thought of never being able to experience new things made me short of breathe and suprisingly nervous. That same feeling crept up again when I swam out as far as I could from the beach and looked at the world from the view of an outsider, silent except for my own breathing. Alone... but so fucking connected. I felt as if I might burst at the beauty of it. I just floated there , crying my eyes out. What was broken can't be restored: I can neither have my Dad back or return to the self I inhabited before his death. The vessel is not cracked, but broken, all the way through , permanently. I had a hard time deciding to go back but the sight of a jellyfish encouraged my return. I tried to body surf back but the wave threw me to the ocean floor and I scraped up my forehead. ( I am still cleaning the sand out of my ears) Back to reality.
    That night we saw dolphins (after a couple days of wishing our hardest) and it was the first time I had ever seen them in the wild. (Something about a wild animal keeps you rooted in the present and unable to dwell on the past) There must have been five or six and as the sun was setting, I couldn’t imagine I could ever feel the amount of joy I was feeling. We put our bathing suits on and ran into the water and the crashing waves. I had that feeling that everything I spent my life obsessed with was wrong, that this was all I needed. The rip tides would suck us back only to spit us back to the sand. This happened repeatedly. A couple times the water was so forceful we were being sucked back into the water with our suits practically around our ankles. Fear/ euphoria like I had never experienced. The dolphins didn’t stick around for us too long but by that time we had only become interested in the setting sun. I have never seen my friends like that or been so happy.
    My point, I suppose, is that life is short. One of my biggest worries was that when my dad died, I didn’t feel him anymore, anywhere. I thought that somehow I would just feel him around me, but I didn’t, even for a second. It shook my faith in a way I can’t describe. I don't know where the dead are.. but it is just as true that I don't even know where I am. Whatever this being of ours is, in its depth and complexity, we see only a little of it, and that little bit of it is too much for us, incomprehensible. I am in awe of its mystery. I would have not felt such intensity if his death wasn’t so heavily on my mind. I would have gone on, thoughtless about the meaning of my own life, had he still been around. His death has given me a clarity of thought, a magnifying glass to examine what matters and what doesn’t. I fear it is only temporary, but I am thankful for any of it.
    When I am in my last days, I don’t want to sit up in a hospital bed watching Judge judy and soaps all day.I don’t want blank walls with sterile white sheets and an IV pump as the only things I see. I don’t want funeral floral arrangements with standard regrets on my night table and nervous faces looking at me. I want stevie nicks playing in the back round, good lighting, and pictures of everything that ever meant anything to me.I don’t want to think that I waited to live until I found the right time, the right guy, the perfect job, etc. I don’t want my death to be any less magical than my life. I don’t want to lay in a bed remembering regret.I would rather remember that one trip with horrible timing, the fireworks over the pacific, dolphins, that perfect orange starfish and the days I almost drowned laughing too much.
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    Jul 09, 2008 5:12 PM GMT
    Way too prosaic for your posting, but to live til you drop...

    You_Staying_Young.jpg
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    Jul 09, 2008 5:36 PM GMT
    Life is too short... thank you for sharing your message with us and again, my condolences on your Father's passing.
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    Jul 09, 2008 5:47 PM GMT
    Is there a book...






    YOU







    Maturing




    ?





    I need that one. icon_wink.gif
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    Jul 09, 2008 5:50 PM GMT
    you make me happy.
  • Thirdbeach

    Posts: 1364

    Jul 09, 2008 5:51 PM GMT
    Remember no one lies in their deathbed saying:

    "I didn't spend enough time at the office"

    "I'm so glad I did all that overtime at work"



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    Jul 09, 2008 6:26 PM GMT

    Hey mnjock2003,

    Some of us come face to face with our mortality earlier than others. Congrats on this coming-of-age.

    Your grief for your Dad tells me directly how much you love!

    Your writing and expression of this is nothing short of magnificent. On your profile you mentioned an endless enthusiasm for detachment. It confuses me a little because your post indicates a very connected individual. Both of us lost our Dads within 6 months of each other. We've no need to describe this because you've done it so well for us.

    We'll join dancerjack with 'you made us happy'!

    One last; your likes and dislikes will change with the years. You may one day desire nothing more than a good dose of Judge Judy! heheh. As for the sterile room, the palliative care I do is preferably in a person's home, where they thrive, live well (often waaay longer than the docs predict), enjoy life, and when the veil parts, cross quickly.

    -Doug
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    Jul 09, 2008 6:42 PM GMT
    mnjock - what a moving story and a great way to think about life and death. I am so sorry to hear about your father passing away - just remember that he will always be with you in your heart. Remember the life lessons that you have learned in the past few weeks - you will be a much better person for it.
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    Jul 10, 2008 1:27 AM GMT
    Enjoyed this. Live each day. Savor it. Enjoy the moment.
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    Jul 30, 2008 12:30 AM GMT
    thanks for sharing....sorry for your loss...if you need to talk, we're here.
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    Jul 30, 2008 12:34 AM GMT
    This is the gift of the dying and the dead. It is too bad that our culture is one that fears it.
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    Jul 30, 2008 12:37 AM GMT
    lean_jock74 saidThis is the gift of the dying and the dead. It is too bad that our culture is one that fears it.


    I know.. I thought about that a lot as it was all happening. That I couldn't begin to really express what I was feeling as it all seems so taboo.
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    Jul 30, 2008 12:47 AM GMT
    I was going to say something profound, now I forget icon_redface.gif
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    Jul 30, 2008 12:57 AM GMT
    Mamie 'mo, Bro! I'm blissing out on your aura all the way up here in the Great White North, like falling stars, a paper moon and the aurora borealis enchanting me all at once.

    You... are... beautiful.
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    Jul 30, 2008 12:58 AM GMT
    Alpha62667 saidEnjoyed this. Live each day. Savor it. Enjoy the moment.



    sorry to hear about your father ...

    yes, it's true, life is short ... been there, done that ...

    that's why i'm enjoying my life ... everyday ...

    let me share my story ...

    i almost died ... last december 16, 2007 ... the most horrifying moments of my life ...

    i was a victim of a violent robbery ... i was bleeding like hell ... i was brought by 911 to the emergency room at the good samaritan hospital ...

    i thought it was the end ... of my life ...

    but i was not afraid to die ... i told myself that if GOD wants to end my life ... then so be it ...

    well, i have no regrets about my life because i have already achieved the things that i have dreamed of when i was young ...

    and becoming rich is not important to me ... money does not give you true happiness ...

    but i guess it's not yet my time ... GOD still has a plan for me ...

    and that was before i met my boyfriend ...

    anyway ... i said that life is short ... and it's true ...

    my mother died in 2002 ... of breast cancer ... i was not even able to see my mom before she was buried ... she was in the philippines ... i was here in los angeles ...

    i was devastated ... but i could not do anything ... i was in a situation where i was hopeless ... and useless ...

    but i was able to move on ... with my life ...

    i'm not ashamed to broadcast ... that i'm a mama's boy ...

    my mom was very special to me ... because it was like, she was the only person i knew and i felt who loved me for who i am ...

    when she died, it was like, i also died ...

    but i realized that maybe, this is part of our lives ... life is not fair anyway ... it's part of our lives so that we will grow stronger and will be able to face the world without fear ...

    anyway ... after that incident of mine last december 16, 2007, i said to myself ... i have to enjoy my life every minute of the day and not worry about other things anymore ...

    i try not to be angry or mad on things that don't go very well ... instead, i try to find ways to fix the problem ...

    life is short, and it's very true ... and you will never know if you will still live the next day ...

    so i say ... enjoy your life while you can ... life is precious ... but it does not last forever ... i guess the saying is true ... some good things never last ...

    well, i just found that missing part of my life ... that i have been searching for a long time ...

    and that was when i found my boyfriend ...
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    Jul 30, 2008 1:21 AM GMT
    Well I can certainly relate to your thread. I started having panic attacks out of the blue not long after my Dad died in October 2006. I literally almost did die on my way to Italy two days before he fell sick. Then of course there was the difficulty of dealing with family members who were not ocping as well, selling the home that I had known since I was 6 months old, not sleeping because I was depressed, etc..

    The thing that it is hard to get over about a family members death, is that you are so used to having them around to talk to (even by phone), or have their little habits engrained in you, and all of sudden one day they are gone and there is this void that can't be filled. That is why I feel a part of me died when my Dad died. All the neurons in my brain that fired when I interacted with him (for better or worse) became dormant. A very unsettling feeling that will never go away although it loses its' potency as time passes.

    I am not sure I fear dying, mainly because I am HIV+ and the prospect of dying prematurely never totally disappears, but I can certainly understand why you would.
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    Jul 30, 2008 2:14 AM GMT
    SurrealLife said

    The thing that it is hard to get over about a family members death, is that you are so used to having them around to talk to (even by phone), or have their little habits engrained in you, and all of sudden one day they are gone and there is this void that can't be filled. That is why I feel a part of me died when my Dad died. All the neurons in my brain that fired when I interacted with him (for better or worse) became dormant. A very unsettling feeling that will never go away although it loses its' potency as time passes.
    .


    You have described it perfectly. That is what I was trying to say when I said the vessel is permanently broken.
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    Jul 30, 2008 2:50 AM GMT
    Ok this is an emotional moment for me...

    A place in me pangs reading the above
    post by Surreal, " That is why I feel a part of me died when my Dad died. All the neurons in my brain that fired when I interacted with him (for better or worse) became dormant."

    and mnjock, "That is what I was trying to say when I said the vessel is permanently broken. "

    I wish there was a way to explain what goes on in this ol' heart, but words will have to do, short of telepathy.

    I've had two 'episodes' with Dad since he parted the veil and crossed. The first was a dream about a week after he died.
    Afternoon. Me asleep on couch. Dogs at my feet.
    Dream... Phone rings. It's Dad. I was flustered and amazed and cried, "You're dead, Dad!"
    Dad: "Yeah, I know." in a pissed off voice.
    Me: Dad, wow. What's it like? What's over there? It must be GREAT!" I was enthused at this miracle. I could hear other people in the background through the receiver. It sounded like voices at a party or get-together.
    Dad, sarcastically "It's worse."
    Me: "Whaaat? Why?"
    Dad: "Cause I can't do anything about stuff."
    Me, panicking because I felt we were about to be disconnected, (..after all!)" But, well, what do you want me to do? Anything?"
    Dad: "Quit your bad habits. Keep an eye on your mother. She's nuts, you know"

    I blinked awake, fast. The phone on the other side of the dining room was on the floor off the hook. Did the dogs do it?

    Next dream was about four months later. Dad and I standing on the front lawn of their house. Mom, my brother and other people milling around and babbling about something by the driveway. Dad to my right, just his silouette against the westering sun.
    Dad: " For craps sake." he laughs sarcastically. "It's really very simple, you know." I wake up.
    That weekend we go to Mom's. She fills us in about a BIG problem with the water supply. Sulphuric well water, yet she has purification cylinders etc. What to do?
    Three days later we find out the well access is beside the driveway and the chlorine pellet dispenser had been serviced and refilled with the wrong size pellets.

    ...so ARE the neurons really that dormant and IS the vessel permanently broken, or are there dormant sets of senses involved?
    It's said we only have five, but I smile at that, when one considers their sense of fairness, their sense of compassion, their sense of deja vu, their sense of wrong and sense of right and I could go on but I think this is too much already.icon_redface.gif
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    Jul 30, 2008 4:01 AM GMT
    I was listening to this song while reading:

    So don't wait
    For someone to tell you it's too late,
    'Cause these are the best days.
    There's always, something tomorrow
    So I say, let's make the best of tonight.
    Here comes the rest of our lives.


    That combined with your beautiful story had me nearing tears. Best of luck with your new outlook on life.
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    Jul 30, 2008 4:13 AM GMT
    This post is just reason number 1,397 that you're one of my favorite people ever.icon_smile.gif
  • joggerva

    Posts: 731

    Jul 30, 2008 4:26 AM GMT
    Thank you for posting this, mnjock. Your words (as usual) are beautiful.
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    Jul 30, 2008 4:27 AM GMT
    First my condolences for your loss. Several years ago, I "thought deep" was gifted with a glimpse of my own mortality. Frankly, it was quite possibly one of the worst experiences of my life and I cannot make peace with it. I've achieved only an uneasy truce.

    These days, I'm seeking and believe I've found a healthy, balanced view of life and, whatever, and I can now rest my mind in that perspective.

    But still I think that, at the end of life, if you don't feel some sense of regret,not overwhelming regret, just a realistic portion, I'm not sure if you've truly taken ALL of your medicine, the "red pills" along with the "blue pills."

    I took both and I continue to pay a psychic price for allowing myself to risk pondering those frightening questions.

    But I can live with that choice.

    Perhaps I'll be lucky and be blessed with peace and contentment at the very end despite my misgivings.

    Is that what they call grace?



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    Jul 30, 2008 4:49 AM GMT
    wow very touching... i'm very sorry for your loss of your father

  • gumbosolo

    Posts: 382

    Jul 30, 2008 6:35 AM GMT
    A new but dear friend of mine just lost his father. I just spent an evening with mine with a new appreciation of him. Your story gives it more . . .

    I firmly believe that those crazy moments where you want to break out of your body make you a little more awake for the rest of your life, however long or short it may be, and that you can share that . . . like you're doing.

    Thanks.
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    Jul 30, 2008 6:42 AM GMT
    I don't know...who is the most annoying poster?
    Ya got me. Couldn't say.