Saturday, March 27, 2010


Do you realize that everyone you know, some day, will die?
~The Flaming Lips

When you grow up thinking you're going to live forever, that God's going to give you everlasting life, you don't really come to terms with your own mortality in this life. Or at least I didn't as a Jehovah's Witness (particularly as JW's believe that they are currently living in the "End Times" and they're not going to have to die at all, whereas most other religions believe in a resurrection/reincarnation into an afterlife). It took me a few years post-JW to realize that I'm going to die one day. But it took me longer to realize that those I love are going to die one day too, many before I will. This really hit me this past week.

My parents will die. Likely before me, meaning that there is a definite point in the future where they just won't be here anymore; they will be here one moment and not the next. What will that morning after feel like? When the people who raised me are no longer around? I never really thought about that reality as deeply as I have in recent days.

And my brother too. He is five years my senior. Odds are that he too will leave this life before me. I can't imagine what life will be like without being able to call him up randomly in the middle of the day and make him laugh with some bizarre cartoon or movie reference ("Tukki Tukki Kaka Kaka" from the film Evolution gets him every time). And who will I argue philosophy with when he's gone?

It's so strange to me how the mind works. One day you're not aware of your mortality and then the next day you are. Acutely.

tall penguin


ricercar said...

why is everyone & me thinking along these lines? ive been thinking about mortality too. but i am telling myself, im here now ...

Jonathan Mendelsohn said...

i'm joining the bandwagon then, it seems. cause:
1. i love that flaming lips line; and
2. i was just at a funeral this past week, so issues of mortality are on my mind, as are great lines by the flaming lips related to death. i was literally at said funeral, looking round, thinking to myself, i've only ever been to a very few funerals. that number is (assuming i don't go some time soon) bound to grow exponentially in the next years.

joshsaltzman said...

Santa's not going to die. I mean I don't know him personally. But still, he's not going to die. Mrs. Claus I can't speak to.

Rahul said...

Everybody dies.

bill p said...

I really love your blog. This comment on death is very acute when you stop believing the "everlasting life" myth. I often look at my two boys and when they ask about death I have to tell them all there is to know in this world. You die. I only hope I outlive my children.