Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A friend of mine just told me that he's dying.

And he meant it. He said it with more finality than I'd say "I'm going to work tomorrow". He said it in a way that wiped the "are they sure?" or "have you prayed about it?" out of my mouth. I asked instead how he was doing emotionally. He's doing very well.

Death is an odd subject as you get older. Not in the sense that you're getting closer to your own experience with it (though you are), but I'm noticing that after you crack 30, people are more open and honest in sharing their thoughts on it. Being Black American, I've experienced my lot. I have a large family and people die all the time. We joke about it. There's laughter at funerals. It's just another part of life. There's no lower age limit for attendance. They're like weddings. We have funeral traditions. Certain songs are sung.  Specific cemeteries are chosen. After-parties. I was averaging 3 funerals a year for a while. But still, death is beginning to seem very new to me.

My grandmother's been planning hers for...35 years now. She didn't think she'd make it this far, but she's still going. I think after a certain age, death isn't what people fear...nope. You know it's coming. If not in the form of disease or tragic accident, the sheer limit of human longevity eventually catches up with you. As much as I know she's ready to go, I know there's one lingering fear left. And that's leaving us, her loved ones, behind. I wonder if that fear ever goes away.


  1. Sorry to hear about your friend.

    I think how I view ådeath was permanently changed when I lost my mom. I was 21 and she 48. That did not compute to me. I never was one of those teens who believed they were "invincible," especially since I grew up in an urban area, but her loss really changed it for me.

    I can't say I fear death or pain (oh boy now I sound like Eowyn). I've dealt with so much pain in 31 years and lost the most important person to me so that makes me realize that death is not this thing to fear, living without purpose or joy frightens me more.

    Thanks for sharing this post. I wish the situation was different for your friend.

  2. Megan, I am so sorry to read your friend is dying. I am sending prayers your way.

  3. We can laugh it off, talk about eterity and goin home and a better place, but deep down we still fear the reaper

  4. Thanks guys...I think he's going to be fine with his situation, He's Christian and is very much at peace with death...I'm not sure if he's at peace with leaving though. I really admire his attitude about it.