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Posts Tagged ‘death’

As usual, a lot has happened since we last met.  More than a lot, actually.  Life changing things.  December in and of itself was one of the most life-changing months of my life on so many levels–extremely negative and extremely positive.  To start, I lost someone.  And as I lost her, I gained someone.  That’s the simple version.

It was Christmas morning, and my mum popped in to my bedroom far too early with eyes full of tears again.  She was going to the hospital to see her and asked if I’d like to come along.  Of course, yes.  I would never pass down the opportunity, especially when things had been so bad.  I showered quickly, gathered my laptop and a good book, and we left to go to downtown Saint Louis on that beautiful, blue day.

I navigate our way to the waiting room, walking quickly in my high heeled boots to see everyone gathered.  Katie has her roll of toilet paper instead of Kleenexes.  Tammy has brought along Grandma’s peanut butter and chocolate cookies that she had made a few days before.  Cathy is texting.  Larry and Gary are chatting.  Avis is to the side.  Grandpa is there, and I give him a hug.  We sit there, chatting because there’s nothing else to do.  I send a couple texts along as Merry Christmas.

I’m sorry, I’m shaking.

The doctor runs in.  He’s so young; it’s probably why he’s here on Christmas morning.  He asks for Grandpa to come now, and Cathy and my mum run to follow.  Avis runs out.  Katie and I and the men are left in the waiting room.  I can’t remember it.  I don’t know who came back.  But my feet are walking too slowly behind Katie.  I’m entering the room.  I can see her feet, but Tammy says we may not want to move forward.  I can’t.  I can’t move.  I can’t cry.  I can’t breathe.  I can’t move.  Katie is falling into me, sobbing.  I hold her as tightly as possible, wrapping my arms around her and holding on to her for dear life as my knees start to tremble.  She’s crying into my sweater.  And it takes me minutes before I’m crying too.  I hold on to her like a life-vessel; make me cry.  Please.  I can’t handle this all.  What do you do?  What do any of us do?

I don’t remember how I got back to the waiting room.  But I sat there in the corner chair completely still, staring straight forward, tears still pooling in my eyes but otherwise overly calm.  They’re all still in there.  I can’t be.  I just can’t.  I can’t.  I pull away to my bag to find my mobile.

“I’m sorry Marshall.  It’s over.  It’s all over.”

“I understand.”

“I’m so sorry.”

I pull out the book that I had brought along ‘A Great and Terrible Beauty’, and I rip out the flyleaf containing my name and number should the book get lost.  With the school pencil still left in my bag, I start to write.  I write everything.  I tell her how it’s beautiful out.  That it’s her favourite day of the year.  I tell her that I can’t feel so I left them cry for me.  I stare out of that waiting room window and just write down everything that I possibly can and ignore all of the voices around me.

I try to ignore the doctor saying that she’s trying to breathe as a reflex even though she’s gone.  We say not to recessitate.  Her mind is gone, and she’s told us too many times not to let her be like that.  I’m suddenly pulling all of these neurological facts out of my silly stupid brain because I’m such a cognitive psych nerd.  We tell them to give up.

And she finally does at noon.

We leave.  We go back home, and I tell my mum that I’m driving and don’t give her any other option.

We leave without her.  How do we do that?  How can we just leave with one person missing?

Christmas is at our house.  All of the family is there, and we spend a good deal of time just telling stories about her.  Remembering.  Crying over the presents that she got us and wrapped two days before when Katie, Shelly, and I were over to help her.  We laugh, too.  Everything.

And finally, I’m in the corner of the living room, eating that cookie that she made for me and had wrapped along with a fifty dollar bill and Christmas orange, and I’m crying and smiling up at the ceiling because I have so much hope that things can be okay.

I lost one of the most meaningful people in my life that day.

I’m sorry.  I’m shaking too much.

This will be continued at another point.  I’ll tell you how I gained someone at the same time.

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storm

I’m not sure how to explain the fact that I literally.  LITERALLY.  thought that I was going to die while walking back from work to my dorm.  It’s a half mile.  In a blizzard.  The snow was up to my mid-thighs, I was trapped in the middle of Violette’s parking lot trying to get inside so that I could get warm.  I couldn’t see Grim (where I had left five minutes before, but was only 100 yards from me).  I couldn’t see Violette.  The snow was in my boots and in my pockets and in my face.  And all I could do was sob and try to climb up the steps into Violette.

 

And it was locked.

 

I literally thought that I was going to have to call Noah and tell him not to come looking for me because no one was going to be able to save me but to have to call the police and help me.  I literally thought that I was going to be one of those three-foot snow drifts.  I have never been more scared of ice and snow and wind and cold.  I have never been in a situation where I felt so alone and lost by my physical environment.

And I just had to keep walking with the snow up to my knees and my tears freezing onto my face.

I literally thought that I was going to die.

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“Everyone’s right, and no one is sorry,
It’s the start and the end of the story,
From the shark and the jets,
And the call in the morning.”

-Nada Surf, See These Bones

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Seriously, the amount of spam I get is absolutely ridiculous.  Thank everything that WordPress lets me weed through the comments rather than automatically post everything.  I’d off myself otherwise.

Meanwhile…  It’s a bad joint day, which means that I’m still in bed watching Doctor Who, reading Wikipedia articles, and installing an old version of Oregon Trail onto my laptop.  Somehow, the hours keep slipping by faster and faster until I’m left here with barely a meal eaten and wondering what happened to my morning.  I slept in late until nine, but I still had some morning, didn’t I?  What on Earth happened to it?

I’ve been waiting around for a thunderstorm to roll on by, but it’s done just that: rolled on by without stopping.  Instead, the sun has poked back out from the angry clouds to greet me, but I don’t want that.  I really need some rain, even if it will make my knees buckle all the worse and force me to wear wrist braces yet again.  It’s days like these when it becomes more apparent that my body is falling to ruin.  I may be exercising and feeling so strong, but it can crumble in a split second.

But it does give me some more time to just sit and relax, even if there is some pain involved.  I’ve been watching old episodes of Doctor Who, which really makes me further enjoy the series.  There’s this thing that bugs me with most shows–the characters just don’t die.  Now, I’m not talking about The Doctor, because he’s immortal or whatever, but other characters.  In most shows, the good guy always has to go back and somehow save the other characters to make everything a happy ending.  It means that the main characters nearly get killed, but then everything magically works together.  Well, I don’t like that.  Call me a pessimist, but life isn’t like that.  People die.  People stuff up.  People don’t always live to see the world fall back into place.  It’s for this reason that I’ve come to appreciate Doctor Who as more than just an entertaining series.  Not every character lives.  People sacrifice themselves, repent, get punished.  They don’t just stand there and wait to have everything saved, and I enjoy seeing this realism.  Sure, I don’t enjoy death, but it’s comforting in a way to not have to watch The Doctor and Rose run all around trying to save everyone.  People are more independent in this show, I think.  And it shows when they make their decisions to allow death.  But the loss of life in the episodes shows realism, which is what really matters.

I am a realist after all.  Pessimism and optimism have never quite worked out for me.

But I thought I’d ramble about that for you, because it really is something that I enjoy about the show.  That rational, level-headedness that comes with not trying to appease the world but merely keep it stable.

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Well, the end of my first year at uni is upon me, and I can’t shake this feeling that it went by far too quickly.  As spring came along, my sense of time and directions seemed to do backflips, until I felt like I was at the beginning of the school year all over again.  I’d walk into the room and think it was September, but when the calendar said May, I’d skulk away, shaking my head.

It’s odd to see my room the way it is after having packed nearly two thirds of it away.  I ended up spending Saturday not studying and getting all of my clothes and items from drawers packed away into my truck.  And after only an hour, I was surprised to see my truck full and my room, well, not so full.

I’m actually taking home the truck load on Tuesday, though my reasons for going back to St. Charles are entirely different from a simple dump of items.  It’s starts back on Friday with a text message from one of my friends saying that the mum of a mutual friend had recently passed away.  She’d had cancer for several years, so it didn’t come to that great of a shock, but it was still very saddening.  I found myself worried and feeling empathy (I know, actual empathy), for my friend who had lost his mum.  And I ended up spending an entire night tossing and turning, wondering what to say to him.  In the midst of bad dreams, my brain somehow rattled together two sentences that I decided to send him via Facebook the next morning.

But it was a bad night.  A T-Rex dream kind of night.  Ever since I can remember, I’ve had these nightmares.  I’m running, running as fast as I can, but there’s always this T-Rex behind me, waiting to eat me up in one bite.  As much as I try not to, I always turn into this little child, this five-year old Missi who can’t seem to leave the middle of the street and run for safety.  And then, completely helpless and out of control, I’m gobbled up.  But this dream was different.  Suddenly, I was me, just me, and the T-Rex, well, it was nothing more than a silly stuffed animal.  It bit at me like a yappy dog, not able to do much more than draw a drop of blood.  Yet it was still ferocious, and I still felt an immense amount of fear toward the tiny thing.  I tried throwing it, bashing it against the floor, anything to keep it from turning right around and biting at my fingers, but I couldn’t kill it.  After a while, I was so lifeless, so angry in this dream as I bashed it again and again until I realised that I wasn’t me any more.  I may have still looked the same, but I had become the monster, the T-Rex, and that yappy little stuffed-animal of a monster was no different than me in all of those other dreams.  How pathetically funny that I had lost control.  No matter what, I would never win against this, because I would never have the control.  But I looked at the two situations.  In one, I had no physical control, but I still had me.  In the other, though I had the physical control, I was nothing more than a husk; there was no humanity left.  And, putting that T-Rex down and waking up, I decided I’d prefer to keep my humanity.

As I awoke, I finalised the words I would send to my friend, and upon checking into Facebook, I found that he had placed the time of his mum’s visitation as his status.  Tuesday, 4 until 9.  Well, I hadn’t any finals during that time, so I decided in the matter of only a minute that I would go.  I called my mum to finalise it, and now I have my plans set.  I’ll leave after my finals on Tuesday, get back to St. Charles around six, maybe eat something real quick, go to the visitation, unpack, wake up at seven on Wednesday, and drive right back up to Truman.  It will be hectic, but it’s something that I should do.  Or that I feel I should do, because even though I hadn’t really met her, I was friends with her son.  And that’s all that really matters.

– – –

My birthday is this week–on Friday.  Nineteen.  I’m still unsure what to think of it, so I try to think of nothing at all.  Chances are, I’ll make a fool of myself, wear a tiara, and go out to dinner.  Like every birthday, really.  The only difference is that it will be my last day of finals, so I will spend a grand majority of this birthday packing and driving back to Saint Charles.  But, how I see it, there is no greater present than getting to be alone for four hours with my own music, the windows down, and my own voice to sing and talk through my thoughts.  As I told some friends yesterday, it’s quality time that can’t be bought.

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(Note: I just finally made this entry public after several months of letting it bubble as a private post.  Do with it what you will.)

I’m incredibly sickened by modern horror.  The film industry pushes boundaries, I realise, and this has lead to many great things.  Wizard of Oz pushed boundaries with its break into colour.  Sleeping Beauty pushed boundaries with its transformation from live action to cartoon in the hands of artists.  Lord of the Rings pushed boundaries with its computer generation.  But the technological boundary is different from the human mind.  Psychologically, we have boundaries, and if they are broken, what is left of us?

My house is watching a horror film right now called “Funny Games” or something to that effect, and I am sickened.  It deals with two guys who are going to kill a family for the fun of it, and they kidnap the son to make the mum take off her clothes and other such atrocities.

Yes, I realise that these kinds of things happen in real life.  And I realise that it can be put into film.  In fact, it being put into a film does not bother me.  What does bother me is that our society has had our boundaries so torn away that people find this entertaining.  Entertaining?

ENTERTAINING?

What the fuck is wrong with people?  Have we really had murder and violence and sex and gore thrown at us enough to completely desensitise us?  Well, yes; we have.  But at what point have our boundaries been broken that we’ve learned to enjoy watching this?  What the fuck is wrong when Saw can make six movies because people just love watching other people die so much?  How did we get to this point?  How can we hold so little regard for human life and laugh at someone literally being ripped limb from limb?

Do we not have sympathy any more?  We must not.  And empathy is out of the question; we lost that long ago.

I just don’t understand.  I watched all of five minutes of My Bloody Valentine before I made my friends shut it off so that we could watch something else.  Even though the gore was unrealistic, it didn’t matter.  The movie was purely a bunch of people dying.  Just, dying.  Being murdered.  And here, my friends sat around, laughing at the thought of people dying.

Maybe I was never desensitised to it all.  Maybe I kept myself in some kind of bubble.  Or maybe I just never wanted to be desensitised from it all, so I made sure to still feel the fear and pain.  Fear and pain from death, well, that’s human.  That’s why we have religion–to remove the fear from the pain.  But when there’s no fear because it’s humorous, then what happened to the soul?

That’s just it.  What is so damned funny about people dying?  Every day, I read the news.  Another 2000 dead from an earthquake here.  Another sixteen dead from a bombing there.  Another three killed by a train that fell off the tracks.  Another six murdered.  What the fuck makes that so funny?  You can tell me, “Oh, but Missi!  In the movies, it’s just a murder, and they usually deserve it.  It’s not like it’s real.”  So what that it’s not real?  What makes it any different from all of the people who do die every day?  If you laugh so damned much at the idea of death, why are you not laughing at those people who really are dying?  Is it because society tells you not to?  Or are you laughing inside?  Or do you just not care about them at all since you’ve given up your own conscience in order to be entertained?  What the fuck makes the idea so damned different between a movie and real life?

Not much.  That’s what.  People really do get murdered.  Tornadoes really do suck people up.  Bullets really do get in the spines of eight year-olds.  You laugh when it’s on a screen; you might as well be laughing at the real thing.

People aren’t living any more.  They’re just shells.  They sell all that they have in order to be entertained.  We’re laughing ourselves to death.  Neil Postman had it right when he said that we were “Amusing Ourselves to Death”.  He didn’t mean it quite in this way–his ideas were more Orwellian in nature–but it all leads to being empty and hollow.

And for how much do we sell our souls?

One dollar at Red Box.

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