Sunday, August 15, 2010

Destination: Unknown - seriously.

When I woke up this morning, I noticed my hand was laying across my husband's as if we were sleeping holding hands. It made me smile.

It got me thinking about the fact that I will (hopefully) get to grow old with this guy. One day we will both be so brittle and wrinkled, it is really a sweet idea. (Does that sound twisted??)

With that idea comes the realization that one of us will have to say goodbye first. It's true. Unless of course, there was a tragedy and we were both involved. (Eek)

It is hard to think about, to discuss, to even comprehend - but yes, one day, I.will.die.

Now, I do believe in God. However, I am not sure what this "heaven" looks like - or if it is even a portion of what we were told. We don't know, no one knows. Perhaps peace is the eternal sleep? It is definitely the great unknown, and I am not naive enough to think otherwise.

Will I be dressed in white, floating around playing a harp and crossing marble steps to take a nap on a billowy cloud? I seriously doubt it. I have no idea. What I do know - is the idea of it scares the crap out of me. Not the heaven part - the actual great unknown part.

As I looked at my father and mother this last weekend, I was beginning to see their age. Tic Toc Tic Toc. As a child, I only knew my grandparent's as elderly. It's odd seeing someone that in my memory is supposed to be young and strong grow older.

My father was diagnosed last week with a leaky heart valve. Just so you know, he is also an extreme diabetic. (My word) I look at him and I can see the scared little boy inside. What type of fear could he be facing? He will be 65 in February.. is he thinking to himself - 'Oh no, I might have a good 10 years left in me?'

Think about it - 10 years? What if that is all the time we had left. For some of us, we may not have 10 days - we just don't know. That's a frightening thought.

I am not trying to make any of you uncomfortable, but I am just expressing what - yet again - we are all a little hesitant to even consider. Something like - our last breathe. Will I be asleep? Will I be home alone? How will people find me? It totally freaks me out.

Will it hurt? Will I fight? Will I get to experience all of the adventures I planned? Will I get to apologize to all of those people I hurt with my words or actions? Did I accomplish all I was supposed to? Will anyone bother to show up at my funeral?

The scariest of all.. in the end.. will there be nothing?

I can't accept that one. I have to believe there is something else out there.

I am now 37 - and every morning I wake up I notice my muscles are a little tighter, my bones creak a little more, the tiny lines on my forehead begin to stand out more, the grays in my hair pop up more frequently between touch ups... it's happening - the aging process.

I get it. But how do we get to that point where we are comfortable with leaving this world behind? Regardless of what we believe about an afterlife - the process of the grande exit terrifies me. If I truly believe in catholic dogma - have I done all I need to do to get into "heaven?"

Dare I ask you - do you even allow yourself to contemplate this great mystery?

10 comments:

Miel Abeille said...

Sorry about your dad! Is leaky heart valve serious?

As for me, I'm 33 and wonder when I'll be waking up holding someone's hand. I wanted to be married for 50 years, and with each passing month of singledom, it seems less and less likely.

Holly Diane said...

I'm glad that you put into print what goes thru my mind quite often...it makes me feel "normal" :)

Kathy said...

I'm in my early 50's now and I have started to wonder how to face the Grand Exit.

Southern Mitzi said...

First, let me just say that I am so sorry to hear about your dad's heart. Secondly, you are not alone in your wondering. My husband and I had lengthy discussions about this before we married because of our age difference. I am the older one. The thought of leaving him behind terrifies me. But, we joke quite a lot about how I may be older in age, but he seems to be older in body. His thinking is that he is ok with me going first (even though we don't know the big picture) because he would not want me to be alone after he was gone, he would not want me to be in pain due to his loss, he would rather carry that burden. Some might think that odd, but he knows I have endured so much pain in my life and he doesn't want me to go through any more. My thinking is simple....we have to live forever or both go together (like in the movie The Notebook) because the truth is neither of us could bear to be apart from the other.

Bossy Betty said...

Hope your dad will be OK.

I hope I go first, but I know I'll be OK if the hubby goes first too. I don't think about it too much, I guess!

Doris said...

I know exactly what you mean about fearing that great unknown about death and beyond. It used to scare the bejeezus out of me until I realized that it's inevitable... something I have absolutely NO control over, so why worry about it? As far as "Catholic dogma" in regard to doing what we're supposed to do to get into heaven (I'm an ex-Catholic)... in my opinion, the church has a very egotistic way of thinking in this regard which is probably why I'm an EX-Catholic. :-) There is nothing WE can do to get to heaven... it has everything to do with what Christ did for us on the cross. Certainly our "good works" are a thankful and appropriate response to that love (we love because he first love us) but getting into heaven isn't about what WE do, it's about what HE has already done.

Cassandra said...

I get panic attacks if I think about death too much. It's something I thought I would grow out of, but it's still a pretty horrible issue. I know it's all thanks to my inability to fully accept any theory about afterlife, religion or atheism. It's awful, and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

Doris said...

Hello...it's me again...just a few things more... #1 I realize now that I very likely came across preachy, for which I apologize. #2 The more of your blog entries I read, the more I totally love it and want to keep coming back for more. #3 when my babies were little, I was scared to death of dying before they grew up...not knowing who would care for them, etc. Now that they are all nearly grown, I feel released of that fear. I'm not sure why I posted again really...just felt like I wanted to. :-) Hope everyone forgives the soap-box I got on.

Nicole said...

Doris - what is a blog? But one BIG virtual soap box. Share!

Doris said...

Thank you sweet girl! Most gracious of you! Looking forward to the golden nuggets you have for us today!

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