What’s it like to be dead? That’s a really stupid question isn’t it – but … I’m finding the whole thing abstract in the extreme.
At school we are taught (here in the UK anyway) that the Vikings came over and rampaged and pillaged centuries ago, that Harold died in 1066 with an arrow in his eye and lots of other stuff that is just text. It means nothing, there is no connection, no linking of them and us. Equally we read about things like global warming and supernovae and the death of earth – but to us now, today – it’s so far away as to be a non-starter. It doesn’t exist. The concept of that far behind and that far ahead, the concept of the people that have lived and those that have yet to be born is also foreign.
A girlfriend I had at school went on holiday and (remember – I was young!) we agreed to look at the moon each evening and think of each other. I can look outside now and see the moon and I also know that someone in Italy can see the same thing. Now as then I find that too large an idea, too large a reality to get my head around. It’s like money – we all want to have more but we all have a point where if we had it we’d not know what to do – we can all imagine spending a few thousand, but a few million? Really?
Anyway, dead. I know that that situation means you stop. But I can’t imagine what it would be like. I suppose that if I believed in some sort of god then I’d perkily wander along through life content that St. Peter (or whoever) would let me through on the nod and it’d be all harps, angels and fluffy clouds (or whatever). I strongly believe that nature abhors a vacuum and that the nature of man seeks to fill it with anything to make it less scary – hence religion. I have vaguely believed in reincarnation but then how would I know? But it still seeks to add a continuance to something which is actually a stop. A halting. A cessation.
I can’t get my head around it because it’s abstract. But it’s so very real too. Real for those around and pretty real if I’m the dead one – but I’ll not know it. And I’ll not know I don’t know it. Does that make any sense whatsoever? It does to me. I think.
I first realised I was mortal when D was born. One of the scariest / saddest things about our girls is that they will experience a world in which me and J are no longer present. At some point that will happen – even just typing that has made tears well up. And there is nothing I can do. Not that I can’t live forever but that …I’m finding the concept of death just sitting at the front of my mind recently. It pops up and waves occasionally just to be sure I’ll not forget. Maybe it’s MH related – I don’t know. Maybe I should get born again (on condition I don’t have to meet my m*ther). Or maybe I should just try to shake the thoughts free. You know those tunes that stick in your mind for ages? I need a new mental tune 🙂