Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Scattered thoughts...

There's been a lot on my mind recently, so I haven't written on here in the hope that I would soon clear my mind and I would be able to write more clearly.

Didn't happen.

Never mind I'll just write anyways! So there's been a lot of death around recently. And it's gotten me thinking about death, mourning, memory and other cultural rituals that surround the end of a person's life. My lecturer for one of the papers I am taking this year pointed out to me that in Western Culture, it seems like we are getting less and less able to deal with death. It's becoming more and more professionalised and happening further and further away from the domestic sphere.

And when you think about it, that's scarily true. Someone dies, and a medical professional is required to verify that they are dead. Then a certificate of death is issued. Then the body is taken away by people in the profession of undertaking to be cleaned up and made presentable for the funeral, again, presided over by a professional. Then the body is either buried or cremated. Yep, you got it, again by professionals. Man, death is a big industry. And it's never going to lack clientele.

But why has death needed to be sanitised so much? Why can't we all deal with the gritty reality of what will eventually happen to each and every one of us? Yes, this is a morbid topic but why do people have such a hard time reading it? Are we all in a state of denial? I think I am. Less so about my own death, even though I can barely acknowledge that. I'm definitely in a state of denial about the deaths of those people around me that I love. I straight out cannot think about that without some kind of minor panic attack, the thought is just so horrific. Especially as I know the absolute finality of death that you will only ever understand once you have lost someone. There's no come back, no reprieve, no second chance. That's why I always obsessively tell everyone I care about that I love them or to take care of themselves whenever I say goodbye. Yeah, I have a complex, but at least I admit it!!

In any case, this is a topic too depressing to dwell on for too long. Maybe that's a reason we have professionals that can deal with it better than the majority of the population. But then again, maybe having to deal with death and face it on a day to day basis would make us all a bit stronger, a bit nicer to each other and a bit more appreciative of life as it is around us.

Cos I'm sure we'll all miss our lives once they're taken away from us.

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