Monday, November 12, 2012

Cemeteries and Death

Posted by Melissa Baumgart
Cemeteries represent death.  Right?  Isn't that the first thing you think of when you see a cemetery?  I do.  But then again, I might think about death more than the average person.  I used to absolutely obsess about it, in fact.  Not a day went by in my early 20's that I didn't think I was going to die.  From the distance of age, those thoughts now seem completely illogical.  And yet, at the time, they were as real as anything else in my life. 

I couldn't even pass a cemetery without thinking that seeing it meant that would be the day I would die.  I couldn't drink Rogue Brewery's "Dead Guy Ale."  Or even hear that "American Pie" song on the radio.  Everywhere I looked, there was some symbol indicating that the end was near.  Those days were exhausting.

Somewhere, between having children and becoming a mother, I grew out of those days of panic.  I no longer see death lurking at the end of every exhale, feeling my relaxed body floating up to the heavens; and shaking myself back into the tense comfort of my living body.  I still fear death, though.  I still do not want to leave my family, my husband, my kids.  As much as life sucks sometimes, I have no desire to release it for the unknown.

Nobody really knows what happens after death.  There are stories of people that have "come back", beliefs grounded in faith, and the flat thought that nothing exists after life.  Like the expansiveness of outer-space, the unknown of death is just too much for me to ponder.  The discomfort it brings isn't worth it right now.  I have so much life to live, so many goals to achieve, so many earthly questions to answer. 

But someday, I can see myself sitting and pondering the great unknown. 

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