wayneholland.org

Dying

—naked came I ...

 

I have never quite understood the apprehension over dying alone. In fact, my position on the matter is just the opposite. I am sure it is possible that I could change my mind when the time actually comes, but from my current perspective, I believe I would much prefer to die alone. I honestly do not see how it is something I would want to do in the company of other people.

Especially loved ones.

To my way of thinking, it seems that being around loved ones would make it so much harder to let go. Not that we would have a whole lot of choice in the matter (when the fateful moment arrives).

It's just that, if we are around people we love, whose company we like, during the moments just before our departure, it seems as if it would make that leaving ... well, difficult. I mean, isn't it bad enough that we have to go at all? Does it have to be compounded by the presence of mourners?

And the planning thing I really don't get.

I'm talking about making all these plans for how to dispose of our remains. This goes completely over my head. For the life of me I cannot imagine how anyone could possibly care about what happens to their remains after they are gone. Are they going to be hanging around to make sure their wishes are carried out? Suppose they weren't. Would they be pissed off?

Can we imagine someone's ghost waiting around to see whether or not their burial wishes were respected? What if, for financial reasons, the family decided on cremation instead of burial? What the hell would the ghost do? Haunt them?

If I had to make a decision about my remains, if someone held a gun to my head and said I had to make arrangements or die on the spot, I would opt for re-insertion into the food chain. It seems the most natural thing to do. Just place my body in a forest somewhere and let the animals have it; the worms, flies, ants, maggots, carrion fowl, wild cats and dogs. Hell, yes! Put me back into the food chain.

(I also think it would be so much easier to make the actual passage - to die - in a natural setting than in a humanly-contrived one. We have a way of becoming that which we are immersed in. It seems so much more desirable to become one with a forest, or meadow, or desert or ocean than a stark hospital room, or in the company of fearful, apprehensive human beings.)

I would really like for someone to give me a good reason why humans should not be re-inserted into such a natural biological process. Doesn't the bible speak of returning to the dust out of which we were made?

For dust thou art
and unto dust shalt thou return.

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