Saturday, May 30, 2009

Thoughts on death.

I think about death. Alot. Do you? If you do then this post will not weird you out at all. I think many of us think about it in some way and are too afraid, or maybe embarrassed to talk about it. My thoughts are mine, but I am interested to see if any of you relate...

I think about death. Yes, me.
This may surprise some of you because I speak "life" so much. And I do! But I think it's a good topic to think more about because in my own mind, the two go hand in hand.
I started thinking about death some when Daniel joined the Marine Corps. When you're husband is joining the military one year after Sept. 11 almost to the day, it is a little surreal. He was inevitably going to be deployed, possibly smack in the middle of a war zone. Everything was very unclear for a long time. And so my mind took me there. To that place of utter darkness and despair. Some would say it is the enemy bombarding my mind with attempts at bringing anxiety, worry, doubt, and fear (all characteristics that God longs for us to overcome.) My opinion is that thoughts about death are natural to some degree. Letting the enemy control and manipulate our mind so that death is all we think about is a dangerous place to be, indeed. Anyway, when Daniel was in the military and after I met Rachel I was thrilled to know that someone else related to me as far as what was happening in my mind. We discussed it a time or two and it often overwhelmed me to know that we were literally preparing ourselves emotionally in case our young warrior husbands did not return home. We even had minuscule details of funeral day mapped out in our mind. Of course we are Christians and the Lord sustains us and we would pray and trust God to bring them home safely. We also gave up control of our thoughts to Him and even though we would think about it or talk about it from time to time, there was no worry or anxiousness about the detail of the awful images in our minds.

I believe that Uncle Bo's death and then Nanny's death just a few months later landed me in a spiral of subconscious, fleeting moments of panic stricken thoughts of my own death or of someone I love. I have vivid dreams and images of the people closest to me dying, especially when I am PMSing. Hormones are a wicked thing when it comes to my mind. I lay in bed and ponder what life would actually be like if this family lost one more person we love. And then it hits me that it is inevitable. We will. And then, in rolls the panic. How will we do it again? What if it's MY husband or one of MY children? My mom or Jeni or Jake? It's a place full of fear and disgust when you allow your thoughts to take you so far that you literally feel like you may vomit. And I have felt that way mostly when thinking about losing Jake. The thought consumes me and chills me to my core. I'm not sure I could survive. What's strange about that is that Jake and I are not even very close. But he is part of me and I love him so deeply. I love them all so deeply that it kills me to think of not having any of them anymore.

I often think of my own death. Clearly I think of it with excitement because after all, our hope is an eternity with Jesus! Paradise is something my finite mind cannot grasp yet because of my intimate love affair with the King, I am convinced that it is beautiful and perfect beyond words. Which brings me to my next point. I think about my own death to remind me on a day to day basis the mark that I want to leave on each and every person I come into contact with. I want them to have a story, a moment, an encounter with me that leaves them inspired and is lasting. Ideally I would love to lead hundreds of people to a deeper love for Jesus. If something happened to me, I want those people whose lives I have touched in some way to celebrate my life instead of mourning my death. I want a celebration! My life is beautiful, after all. That deserves awesome recognition and glory to our Lord!

Jimmy's death affected me in such a deep and intimate way that I often think about it multiple times a day. He has not even been gone 2 years so parts of me are probably still grieving and I'm just not aware. I picture him sitting in our living room in North Carolina or standing over me in my hospital room moments after delivering Nora. I can hear his laugh and see his hands in my mind. And then I immediately flash to the vivid picture of his visitation. It is like a movie in my mind that someone keeps rewinding to a certain place and playing over and over. Surrounded by crying Marines and grief stricken family members, I remember holding Nora and dying inside. I felt like screaming "this was our best friend. He loved this little girl. My husband played worship with him. He emailed me every day for 6 months while he was gone. This is our loss! This is our friend!" But I remembered crying at that very moment realizing that he had touched everyone that intimately. Everyone in that room had those same feelings. He made us feel like we were his only friends and the only thing important in his life. And yet, he made everyone feel that way. Wow! I learned so much from that moment. I mentioned that it changed my thinking about death. I suppose quite the contrary is true. He changed my thinking about life.

I'm writing this because I am, indeed, PMSing and therefore thinking about some of these things a little more than usual. I am not in need of serious therapy...haha...
I just want to hear any feedback from you! Do you think about death? It is on every TV show, all over the radio and alot of what we focus on. Babies are being kidnapped, and killed. Mothers & fathers go for a drive only to be hit by a semi and leave 4 of 5 children behind. It's a very real matter and I often wonder if I hyper-focus on it because of the circumstances that have led me to this place or if it is a normal thought process. Do women think about it more than men? What are your thoughts?? Comment or email! I love hearing from you all.


Anonymous said...

Your blog always inspires me so much! I love to read your posts because they're so uplifting and reviving!

abbyhammer said...

hey rame, just thought i'd let you know i started a blog, i only have 2 posts but, i went ahead and made one anyways. =]

MrsHenebry said...

Oh my goodness Ramee! Posts like this make me wish that you were right down the road with nothing better to do but get your nails done with me and talk about this face to face! I completely agree with you, that thinking about it to some degree is natural. And I often worry that it's not normal, or healthy, or etc. But I'm happy to hear that someone else feels the same way!!! Just another reason that I love ya girl! :)