Monday, April 21, 2008

Shocked and Horrified

I found out today that a moderator on one of the forums I frequent passed away very suddenly from an aneurysm yesterday morning. She wasn't very old--not much older than I, in fact--and the whole thing was totally unlooked-for.

I didn't know here very well, not even as well as you can come to know someone on the internet: considering them a friend you have never seen. She was just a mod on a forum, someone who was there to help out, who posted a lot... but I find her death has really shaken me.

Part of it is the manner of her going. I have always been terrified of going that way myself. My brother used to tease me with it; when I'd have a headache he'd say, "there's the aneurysm acting up again..." The first time I had to have him explain to me what it was and he made the details as graphic and brutal as only a teenage boy can. I was not very old, only about seven or so and I think the experience left a profound mark. No: I'm sure of it, because ever since then whenever I get one of my headaches, no matter how mild, I'm certain that this is it and I'm about to die.

I don;t want to go that way: suddenly and with no warning or time to prepare.

I remember several years back I watched my cat, Tamlane (who is also now gone from me), hunting a spider. The spider was walking along the edge of the wall and Tamlane just came up, swept it away from the wall and ate it. I was horrified by the suddenness of it. One minute there, the next gone. I am horrified by the way life can be like that: one minute you are there; the next you are not. I am horrified by death anyway, but the way it can take you without warning seems the worst thing about it.

I suppose I would not be so horrified about it if I had any sort of faith about any sort of afterlife, or even any sort of caring god or gods. But I don't. I think when you go you just stop and there is no more of you. No second chances. No way to go on and make it better the next time. No merging with the great here and now and knowing eternal bliss, no reunion with loved ones who have gone before. This is what makes death terrible to me. There is no comfort in it. I used to believe in reincarnation until I saw that spider get eaten. And then I thought, if there is an afterlife, it can't be just for humans. It has to be for humans and animals and insects and even vegetables. For every blade of grass there has to be a second chance. And that's when I stopped believing. My mind just can't encompass it. Can't make it balance or come out even with conservation of energy laws. I want to believe, but I can't do it.

There is no end to this blog and no end to this horror. I want to stop thinking and can't do it.

Good night, Sue.

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