Monday, October 26, 2009

The Veil is Thinning

If you believe in such things.

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.


squirrelgirl said...

Oohhh, I hadn't thought about the germ aspect of trick-or-treating. Ick! Now I'll have to rethink our plans.

Julie said...

If we didn't have Jonas in the house we'd go anyway.

Heather Groves said...

Mine are in preschool so we will go trick or treating I think since they are already exposed to who knows what in their classrooms.

Funny things about voices when there is mental illness in the family (you remember my history, right Julie?) I have had the same experience with deceased family members talking to me after their death, in a couple different ways. One occurred after my Uncle Byrd died shortly before I was scheduled to undergo IVF. I undergoing IVF. I was in an emotional black hole and he would sit next to me in the car on the drive home and talk to me (I decided it must be real b/c he and I were not close in life) and then I found out that my egg extraction was on Apr 4th, which was his birthday. So I talked to him in the operating room and told him I needed his help and we had great eggs and beautiful embryos and I talked to him throughout my pregnancy,especially the tough parts, like where I was pg with triplets and one died at 10 weeks... after the twins were born he left. Grandmom also visited once when I was looking for my wedding negatives and I asked for help from the universe to find them (granted I was on percocet at the time for a surgery I had undergone) but as clear as day she visited me and told me that she had more important things to do than help me find photos, she needed to dance, and she danced away (I did find the photos the next day, but again I take it as a real visitation because if I had imagined it she would have been much less fed up with me, but this was vintage grandmom). I have others, but I should stop now since this is your blog, not mine. But I believe in the veil thinning, although I think it does it a couple of times a year, not just during Samhain, alhtough that is the big one for it I suppose. My visitations always occur in the spring and summer now that I think about it.... Odd

Julie said...

Of course your grandmother had to dance. Golly she was fantastic. In my imaginings now her hands are healthy and no longer painful and she can hold a card hand with no trouble.

I do remember your history. In our 20s I remember thinking you never gave yourself enough credit as far as all of that. But then, I have a tendency not to do that myself.

I find the fact that Byrd visited you fascinating. He never struck me as the talkative type.

Thanks for posting this. It made me feel better.

Heather Groves said...

regarding honering ancestors, you can either set a place setting at the table for them, or perhpas leave some food outside the door as an offering to the spirits, or do a day of the dead thing (OK it isn't May, but you could make a few skulls out of clay and do something.... maybe with cupcakes.

Heather Groves said...

Julie I wish you could have seen grandmom, she had on dancing shoes and a sparkly dress and she still looked her age at death, but she was snapping her fingers (so I guess the arthritis was gone) and... grooving to some inner music... is the best way to describe it. I have no doubt she is cutting rugs up in the afterlife.

Heather Groves said...

One more comment and then I will stop hogging your blog. Sorry for the self-absorption here.

You asked about my interactions with Uncle Byrd, it was really interesting, he would tell me it would be ok, to "buck up" and I also would ask for his help with getting through various parts of the pregnancy and I feel like he was involved in helping things go smoothly, he worked behind the scenes a lot but I always felt his presence.

I promise I usually don't do multiple posts like this.

Julie said...

Oh for heaven's sake. Comment away. It doesn't bother me at all.

sara said...

wow i hadn't thought of the germies on the candy either- though with both kids in school i guess it's a lost cause. they throw away 90% of their halloween candy anyway, if it isn't a plain hershey bar, ozzie won't eat it. i usually pick out all the stuff they like from what i hand out and fill up their buckets. they go out for 1/2 hour and then are cold/tired/bored/scared and done. gone are the days of running back home just to empty your bucket to go out again and again and again.

Cyn said...

This is going to sound self absorbed or a bit nutty but I have heard God speaking. The thing is it was only a couple of times. I do hear him laugh more. The things I really want him to answer though I hear silence.

Side note- He never tells me to bomb an abortion clinic.