Wednesday, May 19, 2010

death

I know this is going to be a strange post but there are thoughts I just want to jot down.

Yesterday I happened to watch a very old episode from The West Wing. It was when Leo McGarry dies. In real life, the actor, John Spencer died suddenly and the story line was written in. Leo was actually running as the VP to the Matthew Santos Presidential Candidate. He wasn't seen for a couple of days in the show and when the win was imminent, his aide goes to find him and discovers him dead. I happen to like John Spencer as an actor and in this role.

I also seem to really enjoy Bones. So I guess I've seen a lot of stiffs through TV and so when someone dies, I think what they'll look like, dead, in their graves, say in 5 years. Macabre, I know. But it's what goes through my mind.

Our book club is reading a book by Mitch Albom...Have A Little Faith. I listened to it on audio disks since I was doing a lot of driving, and distances. Mitch read it himself and it was ideal! But in the story, a rabbi talks about the 2nd death. Different from my 2nd death but still a second death. The death of never being remembered. Sure, the current generation and maybe the next will tell stories of you. But after that? What? And the rabbi was sad. I was sad. (read the book...or better yet listen to it as well as listen to For One Day More by him...that one really got to me)

Last week a friend's partner died suddenly. She had gone in for thyroid surgery and that night probably threw an embolism. I was sad for this turn of events. I worry...you've heard me say that worry is my greatest gift and worst nightmare...and I worry how Peggy is doing. There have been a lot of incidents that have been triggered following the death that are beyond unfortunate. I wonder how she's coping. I will give her call in a day or two when she returns home. Maybe take her to lunch. Why I mention her in this is because of what happened Sunday.

I was visiting a ward in 7 Hills, officially. This is the building that was built when my mom and Roger lived/presided there. My mom had made a counted cross stitch that we had loved ... words found in the DC temple. I wondered what might have happened to it. As I walked into the chapel...THERE IT WAS. Still attached to the chapel door. I had this inhale of breath and thought, Wow! My Mom is still here even though most people there now would not have even known her. But it was sort of like a kiss from her. I touched the frame and was glad...even tho I still wondered what she looked like in her grave, in the next world. 2 conflicting beings and I know the one I keep close to me.

As I was preparing to teach the lesson in RS, I was introduced to a woman who is married to a man who is the grandson of my first branch president and bishop in 1960. She took me to meet her husband. I knew his mom had died after bearing 11 children. When Robert and I were leaving Provo, his newly married mom Cosette, took our little love seat that pulled out into a bed. I asked about his oldest uncle who I remembered from when we were kids. Immediately he said, Matthew is gay. His wife gasped. I just said, I didn't ask what he was, I asked how he was.

So he was able to finally mentioned where he lived but obviously didn't know anything about Matthew. I told him what I remembered about this wonderful kid. And thought how sad it was that he didn't know more about his uncle. He should have.

Now my kids will be sure to tell you that I have strong opinions. Good grief, anyone could bear witness to that fact. But I am also a lot more liberal than some people give me credit for being or else they are upset that I am so. No, I do not believe that we come to earth as lesbians/gays. I believe it's a choice. But that's my view. I also believe everyone has the right to agency...much as I may not like their choices. It's theirs to pick. But when do we stop loving those who do make choices different from ours? Or better how do we love them?

When death takes me, will I be remembered? And how? And how will I look in the casket which no one is supposed to be looking at. How will I look 5 years in the casket? Can I just dust and crumble away? But will someone remember me when I was thin and young? I sure hope so. So that's that. Odd sort of tie-ins. Probably they only tie in for me. But there you have it.

3 comments:

Lin Floyd said...

well you are nothing if not unique Susi Q and so is this post...I don't wonder about the dead but only picture them as spirit embodied individuals at the peak of their youth freed from disabled/dead bodies that are sometimes preserved through embalming and other times left to rot into dust because of circumstances.

The comforting thing is that we continue and so do our relationships and free agency. We need to write our life history or at least blog to leave a written memory of our life and thoughts for our loved ones.

marissa said...

GOOD post, mom. Probably your best, yet. While I am slightly disturbed by your love for crusty, decaying bodies, I am also more-than-slightly intrigued by this mother of mine.

Millie said...

When death comes, peace is right behins it.

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