There are supposedly many things to be afraid of this Halloween and yet this evening as I feverishly type towards Halloween deadline, I am at a loss to relate them. We are all afraid of losing people, friends and family members, as they make their journeys through life along with those of our own. This, to me, is scary, yet comforting at the same time, and not for the reasons you might think.
It is in this commonality of our lives ending as we know them that we share some of the greatest links among ourselves. We try not to think of our mortality as we go about our daily lives, but it is always there. We joke about the grim reaper at Halloween or other scary things. We watch endless horror movie marathons in the weeks leading up to Halloween.
I used to say I enjoy a good horror movie every now and then. But good horror movies are hard to come by. What substitutes for horror movies these days are the slasher flicks that still rock the box office. If no one turns out and buys a ticket to see them, movies of this genre scarily go quicker to DVD than you can think it.
A lot of us want to live really long lives provided our quality of life is good. Unless we accept our aging and the various acts of rebellion our bodies and minds throw our way, it will not be a pretty passage of time. I often think how different the concept of death would be if we spent any time at all preparing for its inevitable arrival.
While many of us may make out wills and the like, we are still not preparing ourselves for our earthly departures. It is because we fear death and dying. Death is vilified and we try to avoid it at all costs. Many people joke about no one ever coming back to tell them what an afterlife is really like. But, I believe if there is an afterlife at all, no one would want to come back and tell our sorry asses about it in the first place.
I can see it now
Send me $19.95 and I will give you the first installment in my series on how to achieve happiness in the afterlife.
This is snake oil at its finest. The Afterlife should be something that involves exclusive membership. First of all, you can’t get into the club unless you’re dead—a la people who are dying to get in to cemeteries. And the dead do not generally want to deal with the living unless it is something fabricated in a Hollywood script. It would make sense then, that living people could not teach about what it’s like once you’re dead, never mind tutoring you how to be successful in death.
Instead, we should just live our own lives with our looming deaths in mind. I would suggest that our life quality would be much better with death in mind, too. FML is an acronym many are familiar with. For those of you who have seen it here for the first time, Google it as this is a mostly family-friendly blog. Instead of FML being something negative regarding a bad experience you just had that makes you think your life sucks, FML might instead be something that makes you think happy thoughts (as your crappy life will eventually be over and done with and you may or may not get an Afterlife. FML indeed.
Hence the sentiment “Sucks to be you” is really something, that while quite possibly true, is only a temporary thing. We can take solace that no matter how much our lives appear to be sucking wind fiercely, it will all be over relatively soon.
This commonality of our lives ending means that if dying sucks, then it kind of sucks to be all of us as we all die. But instead of celebrating life and death as a civilization, we try to bury any thoughts of death and continue to celebrate our lives which may in fact, be sucky for much of the time. Guess I’m afraid of worrying about life and not about death so much.
Life is way scarier than death. It’s like someone considering a career as a mortician who goes into a funeral home and sees a corpse exhibit some body movement. They are creeped out, frightened, but they have nothing to fear there.
It’s the living ones that are here that they should be afraid of.