Death (NHBPM 13)

People really do not like to talk about death, or admit it’s existence. It has gone, very rapidly, from something that was constantly around us, to something we are having to gently explain to our children when they reach an “appropriate” age!

Don’t get me wrong: I think it’s a very good thing that we have removed so many occurrences of death (and by removed, I clearly mean delayed), and I heartily support the zealous application of medicine to disease. But the removal of death has resulted in it becoming a taboo subject. We don’t talk about it, unless it happens – and even then we try to avoid it.

I’m not wanting to be insightful here about death, I don’t think I can be – I haven’t experienced nearly enough loss to be able to talk to someone about it who has. I do want however, to break the taboo. To make people realise it happens, and it might not be okay that they died, but it is okay to talk about it.

People die, and they don’t always die when they are old and full of years, surrounded by a loving family. We die in horrible accidents. We die when we are still young. We die after years of illness, or suddenly when nobody was expecting it. Children die before their parents. Babies die before they are even born. Lovers die before they are married. People even decide themselves that they want to die, and do. It might be that you wake up tomorrow, and the person you value most is not here any more. It happens. In fact, it will happen (unless you beat them to it).

I have to face the fact that I am ill, and yeah, it might kill me. It has killed plenty of others. I might not live to see thirty. I haven’t written a will (it will all go to my husband anyway), but I have signed a statement of intent, to donate my body to research into ME. Denying it won’t help.

Although it seems like a rather abrupt way to end this, I don’t think that I can add any more on this subject, except to say “death happens, and it’s bad”; and to also say to people who know me: if you need to talk about it, I will listen.


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