eXTReMe Tracker WARNING: The opinions expressed and linked to in this blog are not necessarily mine (anymore).

My ideas are constantly changing as I learn. Sometimes they even change midway through writing a post.

Wednesday, September 14

More on Death (Warning: Gruesome News)

It seems a sanitation worker found the woman's body in a suitcase at a landfill. I wonder at the horror of finding her. Why did he look in it? Did he smell something unusual? Was the suitcase so nice that he thought it might be salvageable? Do workers commonly look inside things just for the purpose of sorting them?

This reminds me of why I have avoided news so much in the past. I'm fortunate, in a way, that things like that don't bring up much in the way of imagery. I still react sometimes to the idea of something.

I can imagine a suitcase. It's large, no particular color. I imagine a person folded up in it somehow, but the image of the person isn't very realistic. It might be a life-sized rag doll. I would think the lack of realistic detail is an unconscious sort of self-protection, but I can't remember details about pleasant things that I'd very much like to remember well either.

Still, this has struck me as particularly sickening. I don't see why it should. Once a person is dead, the body is just a bunch of chemicals. This doesn't mean I should feel like it's a bunch of rock or something. It still represents what was a person who's life ended badly.

Does a person's life ever end well?
I suppose there are better and worse ways to die.

The event has passed. The woman isn't currently in pain or in the process of being killed. I would think extreme pain would be worse than death. It's the just before dying part that I'm more afraid of. So why would this bother me more than wars or accidents or natural disasters?

Maybe it's just the purposeful badness of it. With 9/11, it wasn't the people dying that bothered me as much as the people believing so strongly in the wrong thing that they were willing to die and kill lots of people for it. It was slightly frustrating. Part of me would have liked to kill the killers for it, but they were already dead. And killing them after the fact wouldn't restore life to those people.

It reminds me of how I felt about the death of a friend. I heard that she was murdered. Shot to death. My first thought was that the killer be brought to justice (and a certain irrational thought about killing him myself). Then the person telling me about it went on to say the guy had then shot himself. It was frustrating. Really, though, the frustration comes from her death. I hadn't seen her in several years. We weren't "close" friends, but I once knew her very well. I ran into her when I was at college, and we had a nice chat. I hoped I'd run into her again sometimes.

I didn't find out about her death in time to go to the funeral, but I called her mom anyway to give her my condolences. She was still having a hard time. It was her only child. She advised me to have more than one child. I didn't know what to think of that, but I could understand the sentiment.

Having a child is a very life altering event. It's not just a one-time thing. It changes everything, every day, for the rest of your life. You put a lot of energy and time and resources and care into it and look forward to the person they might become. To have it all end so abruptly must be devastating.

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