The blogging world has been rocked by a several tragedies this spring. Death is horrible, absolutely tragic, and as an on-line community, we are amazing when it comes to responding to our internet loved-ones with help, comfort, food, donations... whatever is needed.
But when we just want to talk about death? Share our feelings about it? Talk about it? There is complete and total silence. I can't figure it out.
I know we all read and write blogs for different reasons. We come to be entertained, to understand, to make sure we aren't the only frazzled ones out there, and to vent about the things that piss us off or to share the moments that fill us with joy. But we are also here to voice our fears and, from personal experience, when I blog about my absolute most scary personal fear?
I experience total quiet from my readers.
I absolutely hate death. I hate that it rips our loved ones away from us. I hate that it changes who we are, for better or worse. I hate that we have to adjust our thought processes. I hate the hole it leaves. I hate that that one person whom you've loved and depended on is no longer there. I hate that after one or two (if you're lucky) generations after your own death, you're pretty much forgotten, relegated to the odd viewing of an old family photo album.
And I hate that death, unless coming upon you softly in your sleep, can be painful.
But I also hate that we don't talk about death, that it's a taboo subject. I read an interesting book about Dahlonega, Georgia hauntings and the author of the book wondered aloud to a local Cherokee psychic/medium why people don't generally hear of Native American hauntings. And his response is that from birth, the Cherokee are taught about death, what it is, how not to fear it, that they experience it (watching a loved one die - preparing their body for burial), therefore when death comes calling, they answer and pass on. On the other hand, the white man fears death. We put it in a box and lock it away. We don't talk about it unless we're confronted with it head-on. It's a subject best left to coroners and morticians and it's an industry left to those brave enough to work in it. We don't dress our dead or prepare them, we leave it to someone else. We don't bury our dead, we give that job to others. We don't clean up the aftermath of a violent death, that's for these guys. And we don't talk about death unless it's in glowing, afterlife terms from a member of the clergy, and even that we're not sure of. And that is why we, the non-Native American inhabitants of this place, sometimes get stuck in this world when we should have moved on to the next.
And then, again, when it's all said and done, when the mourners have returned home, the food brought for the grieving has been eaten, and the clothes and momentos of our parted loved one have been given away, we again tie death up in it's own little compartmentalized box, put a black bow on it, and file it away until it's time to bring it out and mourn another loved one. We don't deal with our own mortality. Ever.
Now, I'm not suggesting that we make death a free-for-all, that we prepare for it day in and day out like the Egyptians did. Personally? I'd like my paycheck to take me to Paris, not build me a pyramid in Atlanta. But, I do think we need to talk about it more and confront it head on. It is a part of life, a part that we so desperately want to forget about, a part that we must all, inescapably face one day.
Something that we must all comment on sooner or later. Death is coming. We shouldn't avoid it.