Monday, October 22, 2012

If I die tomorrow.....

I have to admit, the magical thinker in me is a bit fearful that this blog will either cause me to jinx myself (and I actually will die tomorrow), or if nothing else trigger an anxiety attack when I suddenly begin believing that each ache, pain and quickened heart beat is in fact terminal.

I have been thinking about this a lot lately, how precious and fragile life is and how none of us know how much time we have left. It can be scary and it can be inspiring. It can be scary, for me anyways, because I feel like there is so much I would want my loved ones to know. You never know if you will get to say good bye and you want nothing more than for your loved ones to be ok. It scares me to think I could die and never get to say thank you, I love you, I am sorry, I forgive you or I understand.

It is inspiring because if you can really remember the fact that you don't know how much time you have left, you can really take advantage of your time here and make the most of every moment. Find a way to not sweat the small stuff and try and enjoy and be grateful for every moment you do have. Try and find a way to make-up with people you may be fighting with, keep in contact with those that mean the most to you and really take a long hard look at your life, what makes you happiest and try and find a way to do more of it.

I think that what makes death so scary, for me anyways, is that you have no idea when it may happen to you or those you care the most about. Death has a lot of power in our relationship with it. Death has all the power, in fact. I figured I would use this blog to try and take some of that power back. My real fear with death is my worry about my loved ones. It is about not getting to say "good bye" to those that I love and those that mean the most to me. It is my worry about people being upset and it is really all about them. I mean, let's face it, when people pass away, they are just fine in that moment, there is no more suffering and while they may be watching over us, they are happy and safe. It is my worry about those we leave behind that cause me the most anxiety and fear about death.  I know how much sadness death can bring to the living and that scares me. 

My adrenaline is certainly pumping as I type this as I am a bit shaky. I like to think I will feel empowered after this blog and not more fearful and anxiety ridden.

So here goes. If I die tomorrow, to my loved ones, please know that I died completely happy and fulfilled. I died with so much love in my life and gratefulness in my heart. I died accomplishing a lot. There was still a lot I wanted to do and a huge difference I would have liked to make in this world, but I died happy.

Greg, whenever I have an anxiety attack, the only thing I think of is not making it home to you and not being able to say goodbye. I am not sure if this comes from some weird past life stuff and if at some point I died a tragic death and was unable to get to and say good bye to the person I loved the most, but this is the feeling that comes along. I am trying to release some of this fear by knowing in my heart that you do know how much I love you, how much you mean to me and how hard it would be for me not to get to say good bye. Each day when I kiss you goodbye when I head out to work, I have to know that there is a chance that that may be the last time we see each other. I guess I need to be grateful for that moment and each moment we have together, knowing neither of us have any control of what may happen during any minute of any day. I am grateful for your love and friendship and I have to admit, I will be pissed if we don't get to have our day at Pats Peak, but please know that you have helped to make me a more confident, intelligent, happy and grateful person. I love you and I am sorry if we don't get to say goodbye to each other. I will be with you always, and continue to make jabs at you from afar:) The thought of our time being cut short in any way scares me to death. Sometimes I wonder if this fear affects my ability to love you as much as I love you. I have so much fear around this, I need to work on this, but I do hope this will serve as a reminder of my love for you. I am so proud of you, I am so happy with you as my partner and I have no doubt you will find a way to go on, find love again and find happiness in your life. 

To my parents, I want to thank you. Thank you for allowing me to be a creative child, thank you for letting me make mistakes and try things. Thank you for taking care of me during all my earaches and trying to comfort me during all of my night terrors. Thank you for allowing me to spread my wings and fly. Thank you for never making me feel guilty for moving to New York. I can imagine it is hard as a parent, having so much of your lives be about your children for the first 18 years and then taking them to college and then having them move out. I am so happy that you, after all these years, are happy together. I love seeing you joke with each other and spend time together. I am so happy you still find ways to do what you love most, whether it be spending time with friends, going to concerts, or going to the Woodstock Fair. I am so glad you have found time to travel and have had the opportunity to spend more time, money, effort and energy on yourselves. You were so generous and thoughtful with your resources and love and I am so glad you are both having the time and opportunity to focus on yourselves. I have no doubt it is obvious I love you both, dearly. Please know that I have no regrets and hold no grudges for anything. I am completely grateful for the life I had and rest easy knowing that I passed away knowing I am loved and happy. I have no doubt you are proud of me and I cannot wait for us to meet again.

Katey, where to even begin. I know we went through some rocky years as kids. I am sure we threw more punches than most. I know you had to deal with all of my crazy quirks, being afraid of the dark, wanting to sleep with the lights-on etc. I wanted to officially say that I forgive you for killing my barbies and breaking my trophies :). Sorry it took so many years for me to say that.  I am so grateful that we found our way back to each other and I apologize for the difficulties I had with sibling rivalry. I am so glad that in the end, we found our friendship and please know just how much I love you. I am proud of you and I am so happy you found the love of your life and that I was able to see you and Josh get married, buy a house and start your life together. Have no doubt I will be around and have no doubt I will continue to send you signs that I am ok. I am sorry I didn't get to say goodbye. As your older sister I think I always felt this real need to protect you. I was also really afraid something would happen to you. I can remember running as fast as I could home that day after our softball game when someone slid into you behind Whitin and you couldn't move. I was told to go home and call because no one had cell phones. I have never run so fast in all of my life. I also remember the day freshman year when you got hit in the head with the Field Hockey ball and when Eddie called me about your car accident. Each of these moments has brought a real fear to the forefront. Almost nothing scares me more than losing you and it was easier to push you away and be angry to love you and possibly get hurt. I am glad I have gotten over this and realized in the end, love is more important than fear.

To my family, to my large, wonderful and beautiful family. I am so very grateful for all of you. I am so grateful I grew up in a family with so many aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins and third cousins. I feel so lucky that I got to spend so much time with so many of you. There are so many amazing and wonderful memories. Summers at the beach, days at Wright's Farm, weddings, birthday and graduation parties, camp outs in the yard, Christmas, New Years and everything in between. I am afraid to be too specific because my worst fear is leaving anyone out. I am one lucky girl and please know how much I love you all and how I would not be the person I am today without each of you. I appreciate all of your love, help and support over the years and I have no doubt we will all meet again. To the Cram's, thank you for accepting me into your family so many years ago. I have appreciated your love and generosity over the years and I was really looking forward to officially becoming a part of the family. 

To my friends and your families (whether that be your parents, step-parents, children and your siblings) Thank you for your love and patience. I have gone through some ups and downs over the years. I have gone through boughs with depression, anxiety and times of being totally shut down and not wanting to see people. I think most of my actions have been because of fear. Fear of becoming too close to people and getting hurt. I am glad that I have found myself back to the lovefest that I use to operate on. I would rather let people know how much they mean to me and get hurt, than have them have any doubt in my mind. I hold no grudges and all is forgiven. I look forward to future lifetimes together and am grateful for the support, love and understanding you have given me over the years. I have so many memories and again, in fear of leaving anyone out will just say, if you remember it, I do to, I love you, I appreciate you and thank you. 

Norman, I know you don't understand this and will never read this, but as a woman I guess I have that mother's instinct. Whenever your dad and I travel anywhere together ( I am sure there are parents out there that can relate, or perhaps I am the only crazy one that thinks like this all the time) I always worry about us being unable to get back to you. I worry about how scared you may be, being by yourself and how confused you may be, wondering why we never came home. This really saddens me. I have no clue if cats think like this, but I have heard so many stories about animals grieving for their owners, I cannot leave you out of this. I am hopeful that either my parents, or a good friend would be willing to take you in and care for you, as their own. You are a wonderful and special friend, and have heard more of my conversations than almost anyone. I apologize for accidentally stepping on you and not allowing you to ingest as much string or human food as you wish. Please do know I have your best interest at heart.

Now that I have had the opportunity to say what I wanted to say to some of the most important people and groups in my life I want to let you know what I want from all of you. I want you to smile. There is no need to cry for me, I haven't gone anywhere, just in a different form. You can still talk to me, I will just answer back in new ways.  I want you to laugh. The last thing I want to do, ever, is cause someone pain. I want you to find ways to share stories and laughs. Don't make my send off sad, make it inspiring. Find a way or a charity to honor, find a way to all come together and make a difference. Use it as a reminder of how precious life is and hug your loved ones a few extra times.

If there is an accident, or someone else causes my death, please forgive them. I know this a lot easier said than done, but please forgive them. I don't want you to have to carry anger in your life. I want you to be happy and joyful, please don't let my death harbor anger in you. I know it may take time and I understand jail time may need to be a part of your grieving process, but please forgive them. 

Greg, if you needed to remove me from life support, I love you. I cannot imagine what a difficult decision this may have been, but please do not worry about it. Thank you for making the best decision for me. You and I have talked about this a lot, and we both know what each other's wishes are. We both want to be given a chance to fight, but understand that some conditions are terminal. We do not want to see each other suffer and I don't want you to worry or ever doubt your decision. I trust you with my life, as I trust you in the decision of ending my life. I love you so much and look forward to visiting you in your dreams and while you spend your cherished time out in nature. 

If I die tomorrow, don't worry about me, I am fine. If I die tomorrow, I guess laugh at the timing of my post. If I die tomorrow, remember that energy is never created nor destroyed and I am still here. If I die tomorrow, please cremate me, after all of my organs are donated, and sprinkle my ashes over Glacier National Park (coffins and being buried freak me out). 

If you see The Goonies on TV, think of me. If you hear Howie Day on the radio, think of me. If you find a heads-up penny on the ground, think of me. When you see Orion or The Big Dipper, think of me and when it snows think of me. I am not far away and if you try and channel that creative child I was growing up, you can talk to me whenever you want.

Every minute is a gift, take advantage of each minute you have and be grateful for each minute, day and year you have been given. 

And that's all she wrote...

I Want A Physicist To Speak At My Funeral

“You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy gets created in the universe, and none is destroyed. You want your mother to know that all your energy, every vibration, every Btu of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this world. You want the physicist to tell your weeping father that amid energies of the cosmos, you gave as good as you got.

And at one point you’d hope that the physicist would step down from the pulpit and walk to your brokenhearted spouse there in the pew and tell him/her that all the photons that ever bounced off your face, all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile, by the touch of your hair, hundreds of trillions of particles, have raced off like children, their ways forever changed by you. And as your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family, may the physicist let him/her know that all the photons that bounced from you were gathered in the particle detectors that are her/his eyes, that those photons created within her/him constellations of electromagnetically charged neurons whose energy will go on forever.

And the physicist will remind the congregation of how much of all our energy is given off as heat. There may be a few fanning themselves with their programs as he says it. And he will tell them that the warmth that flowed through you in life is still here, still part of all that we are, even as we who mourn continue the heat of our own lives.

And you’ll want the physicist to explain to those who loved you that they need not have faith; indeed, they should not have faith. Let them know that they can measure, that scientists have measured precisely the conservation of energy and found it accurate, verifiable and consistent across space and time. You can hope your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound and that they’ll be comforted to know your energy’s still around. According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you’re just less orderly.”

~Aaron Freeman

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