JonHunt on Death
was driving home last week from one of my last computer service customers, I
thought that I might call my house and ask my sister to put on some water so I
could make dinner when I got home. So I picked up my cell and dialed my house,
something I obviously hadn't done in at least six months. After six rings or so,
the phone was picked up and I herd my mothers voice.
One year ago today, this would have not been an uncommon occurrence, but at that very moment, I was taken aback.
My mother died December 26, 2000.
I listened to the entire answering machine message, and contemplated calling back to hear it again, but I didn't. And as I rounded the route 6 rotary and proceeded down President Ave, I was suddenly reminded that my mother was dead, and that I had just herd her voice as it had been late in her life. And even though I could hear the stress in her voice from the cancer that was destroying her, It bought back so many good memories about what a wonderful person she was.
I understand why so many people are comforted by the thought that there is a better place beyond this world once we die. No one I know would deserve more to have a place in eternal comfort than my mother, however I cannot bring myself to believe that there is even a god, much less a divine place where we go after death.
I've spent hundreds of nights contemplating death, and all I can come to is this. Death is nothingness, a lack of life, an unconscious state much like sleep, in which once your there, you don't know it. It is nearly impossible for me to contemplate a lack of existence. One thing I do know is that life, at least for me, seems a much better option than nothingness.
I can recall with perfect image, sound and motion the last words I spoke to my mother when she was still coherent.
"I love you.", I said.
"I know.", she said.
There are two things I have come to realize from death. That after it, there's no way to say anything, and that before it, there is all the time in the world, but no way to say it. It has given me great comfort to know that my mother knew I loved her. Without that, I would guess her death would have been much harder for me to deal with. There are still things, thought, that eat at me, the fact that I could never repay her for the millions of things she did for me, the fact that there is now only one person left in the world who really does love me, that my youngest sister only had six years of her benefit, and that won't be enough, and many more.
There are two points to be made here, first is that death is nothingness, or that's my best guess, anyway. And second, that people who love you (and you know who they are) deserve more love than you are giving them, no matter how much you give, so right now, go tell the people you love that you do, before they are gone.