Monday, October 26, 2009
The Veil is Thinning
Death is odd, to me. Not that it happens, because goodness knows it has to happen or we'd be stacked like cordwood on this planet. But for some reason I have mixed feelings about the act of dying itself.
Everyone really would like to simply go to sleep one night and not wake up. Hopefully at a ripe old age. How old? That's a matter of personal opinion. I used to think 80 would be long enough. But my mom is 79 this year and she's still working full time and driving over 800 miles round trip a few times a year to visit us. When I think of possibly living to 100 I think I would be far too tired to even get out of a chair. But I read about a woman a few weeks ago who is 100 and is the secretary for her son's business. When is an appropriate time to die? While you're still healthy and hale and enjoying life? Or after becoming sick and starting to burden those around you?
And I often wonder about sudden death, and those who say, "Well it was his/her time I guess." Why would that even be? Is it that hourglass that has a certain number of grains in it? Could that even possibly be the case? Does Terry Pratchett have it right? (Actually, I'm sure he must. That man has a greater understanding of how everything works than anyone else I've ever read.)
I've noticed the veil thinning on our march to Halloween (because I do believe in such things) so I've been thinking about these things.
Let me give you an example. Today my mom told me that 60 kids in her school were out sick with the flu. Friday it was 28. Tomorrow will probably be worse. Now, we haven't been wigging about it too badly. We still go out. We wash our hands several times a day, maybe a bit more than normal if we've been out, but nothing excessive. We avoid folks who are coughing or sneezing. The issue is, Jonas is the most at risk person in this household, being under the age of 2. He cannot be vaccinated because he's not old enough. I will not be vaccinated because of my reaction to the regular vaccine on October 1st. I was going to get Livvie done, but then we pulled her from school and we really only play outdoors. I do not work. And Rich's only real interactions with people take place outdoors in the smoking area at work. Then I read that everyone here is running out of vaccine anyway. And then I read that doctors are saying the vaccine basically came too late. So my mom and I were discussing all of that, and then I hung up.
There are thoughts that are my own, I know I'm thinking, I've done it for 38 years. I know what it "feels" like. And then there are those times when a thought slams into my head so hard that I know it isn't mine (stay with me. I'm not schizophrenic). During the ice storm of 2002 at 9am I heard a crash and what slammed into my head was "That was your car." Now, it wasn't a feeling of dread, or a freakout, or anything pessimistic. It was a matter of fact, slam to the skull, "That was your car. Go look." I've always assumed it's my dad, but I guess it could be anyone. I'm pretty frigging sure it's my dad though.
After I hung up with my mom I was grabbing the laundry and suddenly my skull filled with, "Do not take those kids trick or treating on Saturday." So I played along this time and thought, "Why not?" and then I had an image of strangers handing over candy from their households. And only THEN did it occur to me that all of these little petri dish incubators with no idea they might be sick could potentially infect my kids.
Must protect The Jonas (as Livvie fondly calls him).
There have been other things going on this past week as well, but I won't get into them. I will, however, work on a way to honor the New Year coming as well as I can for cheap or free, and figure out how best to honor my ancestors who keep hitting me upside the head with bricks but seem to have moved to cinder blocks to get me to pay attention.
Happy Samhain Season.