If you haven’t noticed, I think about death a lot, cracking wise around the corner. It forces the moment, keeps me on the tip of my toes and reassures me that, at the very end, I’ll be in the arms of a lifelong friend. I won’t be alone.
As a pigtailed, little girl in the kaleidoscope of my brain, instead of letting the sappy-happy ending of PC children’s books dull me to sleep at night, I’d lie in the dark in my tucked-in bed, clasp my hands across my chest, slow down my breathing, gulp one last breath, and try to bring myself to the brink of death.
What did it feel like to die?
I obsessed, as heaven rocked overhead. Good thing I was lying down, because I could have passed out.
In film school, I wrote a tragi-comedy about my funeral. I wanted to imagine that people loved me with complete abandon. I wanted to show them how and why. I sweat blood on the keys writing my exquisitely passionate eulogy. I made myself cry.
Whenever I talk about dying, my 79 year-old mother says poo-poo, which is her way of warding off evil. I only hope it happens to me after she’s gone, because the way she talks, it would kill her. I’ll be sure not to tell her that my old pal JJ just dusted off his classic, fire-engine red Honda 400 Super Sport that scarred my right leg forever, and asked me to go for a ride.
Forever is a dream.
as the passing of time has it, I’ve been hanging with the final-chapter set, which is always a hoot. In the early stages of Alzheimer’s, my beloved 84 year-old cousin Sara swears, I’m not afraid to die, I just don’t want to be a blithering idiot. I wonder, why this sudden interest in decorum? I have adored this woman my whole life for her lack of tact and lion’s roar. Poo-poo.
In the moment, I come down to earth. It will be quiet when we’re dead.
What are your favourite films about life and death? Here’s a trio of mine:
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Harold & Maude, and Being There
Drawing by Brenda Keesal
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12 Responses to D.O.A.
I love Being There too.
I loved the death scene in “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” when the dying master of martial arts tells the woman he’s loved for a long time: “I’d rather remain a spirit by your side than enter Nirvana without you” (or something to that effect). Were more romantic words ever spoken?
Also, I’ve always liked cemeteries. I think they’re beautiful and peaceful, and the headstones can be so interesting.)
Meditating on death allows us to savour the now. Halleluia!
In the end, it binds us all.
die happy my friend… as late as possible
Love, death, cemetery, ghost, memories. Brenda, you go directy where the heart is! You are my fabulous blogger, writer!XX
J’aimerais que mes dernières paroles soit woops! ou shit!
Plutôt que enfin!
Mon film sur la mort serait Monty Python’s THE MEANING OF LIFE
J’adore ta façon d’écrire, si imagée.
Thank you, merci tout le monde. Long life a vous tous!
The Seventh Seal. Wow. And, if you haven’t seen it recently, see it again.
I can see the allure of the subject of death, not from a morbid standpoint, but as a point of thought. Personally, I stress to those I know that time is very finite, since it is so easy for people to be complacent and waste time that could be spent in a vast array of wonderful ways. I have used death in a few of my articles, because it drives home the fact that everyone does die in the end, and that time waits for no man or woman. It wakes some people up so they can look in the mirror and reflect on their lives and build a better future.
I try to wake up every day and not just first thing in the morning. Welcome to Burns the Fire, Eloquent Deviance!
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Thank you, and that is an awesome way of looking at it!