I don’t understand death.
I mull on this a lot. What death really means, how to feel about it. The idea that, in life, we consist of a human body and can engage with others in so many ways: playing, singing, fucking, talking, and so many more. And then, one day, it all…stops.
What happens next?
What are we, I wonder. What makes us who we are. Our primary engagements with other people consist on a very physical level: my physical body interacts with another’s physical body. One can argue that our minds are another interaction – and I do, often – but the mind is bound to the confines of what our bodies can do, most often. It is bound to the limitations of the brain. Some of us have broader limitations than others, can do things others can’t. (Higher maths, literary analysis, psychic ability, to name a few.)
Others make the argument that we exist as a soul, too. This I believe, that the soul and the spirit exist (though whether they are the same, I just don’t know).
So when physical death occurs, what happens next?
It’s hard for me, to reconcile the idea of a physical death with the loss of a person. I have so many memories of someone after they have died that the idea that they are gone, even if I can still see their physical shell…my mind cannot compute this properly.
“But they’re right there. I can see them. How can they be gone?”
Photographs of the deceased, movies of their actions, recordings of their voice. These all live on past death in some form or another. The written word echoes their thoughts decades or centuries past death. In my hands, I can hold the words of a man aching over his dearly beloved or a woman coping with her own dwindling sanity. I can read their words and hear their voices echo in my mind long after their bodies failed them.
I mull on death sometimes. It frightens me, the thought of a never-ending darkness, the idea of nonexistence. I’ve tried to imagine it and sent myself ducking my head between my knees, gulping air like I’m dying then and there.