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balance (2): seize the day

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

seize the day

at 5 this morning my little brother woke me up with the sound of his messages to me online. it was a big emergency, he cried. i wasn't sure if i was dreaming or not- my family rarely talks to me these days and vice versa. turns out my stepfather was in a bad car accident- rolled 3 times, down a mountain. my mother made him go to the hospital, which checked him out, declared him ok except for a couple of broken ribs. gave him some pain pills and sent him home. he took a pill and went to bed. my mother woke up next to him this morning, and found him dead. she started CPR on him while my little adopted sister called 911. they brought him back to life. put him in an ambulance, and took him back to the hospital, where he is in a coma and will most likely not survive the week. [update from my sister: he has been pronounced dead].

my stepfather means little to me as i have not seen my family in twelve years, and have not ever met him. but the rest of my family is very devastated. my siblings had grown to love him as their father. he is the only man on earth who could have possibly put up with my very difficult mother. and if he does die, he will be leaving my mother with nothing at all- she will have to leave his family's gorgeous ranch and find work to support herself and my sister. and a 56-year old woman who has never been emotionally stable or an optimist, is going to have a very hard time starting a new life at this point. she just recently was thrown from her horse and broke 9 ribs, among other injuries, and has loads of medical bills from the resulting surgeries, on top of everything else. i know my mother and i know she is a high potential risk for being a suicide. she killed herself once when i was 16, in similar circumstances- i found her naked and blue with her eyes rolled back in her head and a trickle of white foam leaking from the corner of her mouth. she was brought back to life then, but i am not sure she wanted to be. not even her five children could bring her happiness, and her stare when she emerged from the coma was blank. her savior years later was my stepfather, and now he is gone.

my mother and stepfather

so though i am not grieving (yet), i am very sad. i can hardly empathize with my family, as the death of someone i love is thankfully one hardship i have thus far avoided in my life. but death is the most horrible and traumatic situation i can possibly imagine, and i know i would not deal with it well. and to think of how much suffering my mother must be going through really bothers me, and is forcing me to examine my feelings for her.

i have hated my mother since i was small. she was the second person who betrayed me as a young girl, and the first and only person i was unable to forgive for it. she spent most of my childhood trying to kill my spirit, and only because i inherited her qualities of intelligence and stubborn endurance, did she fail. but there is a very thin line between love and hate, they say you can't hate someone without also loving them, and though i have purposefully blocked contact with her for 12 years, i wonder if i am truly ready to have her gone.

it's strange though, how much we as humans grieve over death. what is it about us that makes us rail against our natural fate? these deaths will be the first in a long line of eventual deaths of all those around me. all of us have it coming. why is that so hard to accept and why do people spend so much research and money on finding ways to prolong life?

i know for me it is that i feel that death is so final. i don't believe in life after death or reincarnation, and (though i am agnostic) i think most religions are silly as a whole, let alone their views on the afterlife. i have seen enough dead animals to know that when you are dead, there is nothing of you left but an empty shell. and without your body and your 5 senses, it is impossible that even if you did remain in some form, you would ever be able to experience life in the way that we do as humans. and that to me is terrifying and so so sad. i really love life, i think the world is beautiful, and though i can give or take most of the people in it, there are a few that i can't imagine never seeing again. and i feel such an urgent need to get out there and experience as much as i can before i am not able to experience anything else at all. again, i want to say to people- "wake up! carpe diem!" tell the people you love that you love them. spend time with them. get out and see the world! do all the things you ever wanted to do while you can! don't waste time chasing material possessions and getting involved in superficial relationships. LIVE while you can! because it is only a matter of time before you die or before death affects you. and unfortunately, because we are intelligent beings, we will always suffer at the possible loss of our consciousness and that of those around us.


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