After the Long Beep

in Self Improvement4 months ago

My niece called yesterday to say that her grandad was on life support after falling and having a heart attack, (or vice versa) and in a few hours they would be turning off the machines. Although not my direct relation, I have spent a lot of time with him since the mid 90s when they visited Australia a few times and many family events since I have lived in Finland.

Death is always strange to me, but perhaps because I am getting older and have been adjacent to it quite a lot, it seems to not have the same effect as it once did. Or perhaps, because my latest near-death experience is still so close in time and fresh in memory, the prospect of death seems normalized in some way. But of course, this doesn't help soften it for my niece and I am looking forward to seeing her before she flies back to the UK, where she has been living the last 6 months.

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I have never really bought into the life after death idea for various reasons, but it was interesting a couple days ago when my daughter was talking about death the other day (I think she is going to have an "emo" phase for sure) and then said how when we do, we don't think anymore and we become nothing. When I asked why she thought this, she said that it was because before she was born she was nothing, so after death, she will be nothing again.

Of course, as a young kid for her, death doesn't carry the same "value" as it does for an adult, but her view is profound for a five year old nonetheless and I wonder if I spoke like this when I was her age. I do remember having conversations about death and after life with my father, but I don't think I would have had that level of profundity in the conversation.

But for me, death has never been far from my thoughts and while some people might find that quite morbid, I don't mean that I just spend all of my time thinking about it. It is just that, I don't avoid thinking about it in the same way that my wife seems to. Whenever I try to have conversations around these kinds of things, she is "disinterested" but I think it is more that it makes her uncomfortable and, especially that I am so comfortable with it. In her family, I don't think they talked much about these kinds of things as children, or adults. Which is strange, since it is part of existence and we are going to face it in many ways throughout our lives.

Being comfortable with death doesn't mean not feeling the emotions of it, but I think for me at least, it is about accepting that this is the way of the world and regardless of how we feel about it, there is no bringing them back. I actually think that this is one of the values of death itself, as it reminds us that life is fleeting and far less important than it feels as we are living it.

While living, everything we do feels "end of the world" of the world important, but how important is it if after we die, there is the fade to black and we return into the dark of thoughtlessness? Why spend time where we don't enjoy being, talking and arguing with people about things we find meaningless, complaining about conditions that we don't actually care enough about to actively change? Yet - a lot of people seem to be living this kind of life, doing a lot of stuff that if they took a step back and observed, they would discover, they don't want to be part of it. Why not step away?

As I mentioned to someone yesterday who really doesn't seem to like being on Hive, why stay - "if you don't like it, leave". They took offence to this as if I am dismissing them, but I earnestly mean it. Are people masochists? Unlike much of our lives, Hive is an opt-in experience and, it also has opt-out possibility too - no one is forced to be here. So, if you don't like being here, leave. But, most of them seem to be masochists or, want what Hive can offer enough, that they are more willing to stay for it, than leave because of the things they dislike.

Perhaps people stay out of fear though - what if they leave and things start to go really well and they miss their opportunity? Or, what if they leave and then discover, that wherever they are going, is worse than here? People don't want to miss out on a better life and the chance that they might just wake up - so they keep the machine running, because of the unknown they fear on the other side of the long beep.

Life isn't so serious.

Taraz
[ Gen1: Hive ]

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In hindu mythology it is said, death is only the beginning...

जातस्य हि ध्रुवो मृत्युर्ध्रुवं जन्म मृतस्य च |
तस्मादपरिहार्येऽर्थे न त्वं शोचितुमर्हसि || 27||

Death is certain for one who has been born, and rebirth is inevitable for one who has died. Therefore, you should not lament over the inevitable.

That's a beautiful thought. I think it's easier to deal with death if you can believe there is more after, and the idea of it being a new beginning is certainly more appealing than nothingness. We will never know for certain until we get there, though.

I am not a believer in reincarnation from one animal to another, especially based on Karma, but I do see value in the understanding of the rebirth of energy, the transformation from one form to another. This transformation is inevitable for all things - human or star.

Neither am I :)

But I grew up reading about philosophy. In a poor country with a lot of social trauma I now understand that this detachment was helpful. I find that interesting.

It’s strange because the philosophy is very old and lots of the social problem are very recent.

In a poor country with a lot of social trauma I now understand that this detachment was helpful.

Definitely. But I also wonder if the bar for "social trauma" just gets lower and lower, no matter if things are improving. Similar to what we were talking about the other day - trauma is now getting called the wrong pronoun. Put them in real hardship, all of this "suffering" becomes irrelevant, doesn't it?

It’s strange because the philosophy is very old and lots of the social problem are very recent.

Times change, technology develops - the human condition is much the same.

That's quite a sophisticated thought for such a young girl!! My goodness.

This reminds me of my feelings whenever someone is complaining about their job. Get another one!! So many of us feel trapped, but the truth is we are free. Masochists like their balls and chains I guess.

Death IS normal. We've gone overboard trying to postpone it.

That said, I am very sorry about your friend.

This reminds me of my feelings whenever someone is complaining about their job. Get another one!!

It is a funny thing, because many don't seem to see this, even though they would give the advice to others. Masochists and self-made Martyrs seem to have a lot of overlap.

we don't think anymore and we become nothing

I agree with the first part but not the last part.

We become memories in the minds of people who remember us and we can also leave a legacy. Our bodies return to dust.

"if you don't like it, leave"

I was forced to take a covid test due to unscientific principles. All foreigners in my province with jobs were required because some foreign factory workers live in squalor (I work in a new office building that is half empty and there are less than 0.5% foriegn workers). It was so stupid the embassies of foreign g7 countires complained. I complained to my non-forienger friend who promptly said, "If you don't like it, leave."

We laughed, I said, "I'll drink to that."

We become memories in the minds of people who remember us and we can also leave a legacy. Our bodies return to dust.

I am not sure of the culture (South Am. I think) who says we die three times - the body, when we are buried and the last time someone thinks of us. In the end though - there is a last thought, a final end regardless.

There is a lot of silly going on these days.

I complained to my non-forienger friend who promptly said, "If you don't like it, leave."

Funny thing is, unless you do what the government says - you can't leave!

It's funny, in a rather fateful way, that this post came into my sights and caught my attention at this time. At 3:20am on Monday we got a call from my sister-in-law in the UK to tell us my mother-in-law had passed away. She was terminally ill with cancer, so we knew it was a call we'd get at some point this year, but it was not expected this soon. It actually sounds like she may have had a heart attack. So many things run through your head from the immediate pain of knowing she's gone and wishing she wasn't, to hoping it was in her sleep or at least relatively quick and painless. Sadly it wasn't in her sleep, it seems like she sat on the side of her bed to get up, then went. For her it was probably still a better departure than the slow, painful decline of the cancer, but selfishly we have liked her around a bit longer.

While I don't believe in an afterlife as such, I do feel that some form of energy moves on, whether it's a return to a whole or something else, I guess we'll only find out when we get there ourselves. There are also many anecdotes of those close to death talking to or seeing past loved ones. One of my grandmothers even talked about having been talking to someone when in her less lucid states.

Anyway, as you say, life is too short to be doing things you don't enjoy if you don't have to. It's also too short to be getting worked up and angry at others over disagreements. Live and let live...

In the sleep during a lovely dream would be great - but, just think of all the pains a person has had in their life, all the injuries and perhaps things like giving birth - is that last moment more painful, or less? Hopefully of course, painlessly would be the way we all go.

I can't say what comes after (or before life), but the energy has to move and transform, so that makes sense to me. What it transforms into though, doesn't have to be salient life - it could literally be anything.

Live and let live...

Or, die and let live ;D

Or, die and let live ;D

I was going to add "die and let die" but didn't think of that alternative. Guns n Roses already did "live and let die" so I missed the boat there. 😉

When I asked why she thought this, she said that it was because before she was born she was nothing, so after death, she will be nothing again.

Coming from a child, that's one of the saddest things I've ever read.

I don't think it as sad - I feel that if she carries this thought through she will realize that, between those two nothings, is where living happens.

When I asked why she thought this, she said that it was because before she was born she was nothing, so after death, she will be nothing again.

Most adults haven’t figured that out. @smallsteps is a smart kid.

I always question her thoughts on these things and if she has picked them up from somewhere or, "put two and two together" so to speak.

I think the chances of having emo phases are higher than not XD so far all of the kids that I have close enough contact with have gone through at least one.

"if you don't like it, leave"

I think being told this (in as many words or otherwise) just kind of makes people feel rejected which feels bad and feeling bad is something to be avoided at any and all cost and anyone who makes you feel bad is a bad person or something to that effect.

Also there is an unsurprisingly startling amount of people who seem very convinced that things that they don't like should just be changed into something that they do like otherwise it's terribly, horribly unfair and they're being oppressed.

Mostly in the case of hive but probably could be stretched out to other things, your last paragraph makes a lot of sense too.

I never had an Emo phase... thankfully!

Yeah, it is the feeling of rejection, that people don't care if you are here or not, but that is actually not the case for the most part, it is the perception of the case. I don't want people to feel like they are forced to be here, that they have to suffer, because they don't - they have the power and personal responsibility to walk away.

What is funny on Hive is, people can build for themselves - yet how many do?

A likely story ;D

I don't think there's the right types of building tools/foundations for everyone just yet.

To me, death is something that can't be avoided so I don't get scared much about it.
But the thing that I am too much afraid of is that it doesn't appear to me before I live the fullness of my life, premature deaths around me make me feel scared.

All I need is to live the fullest, fulfill all the dreams I am cherishing, and then welcome death. Maybe death doesn't play in this way, it has its own rules.

People question whether there is life after death, but don't seem to care if there is life before it.

A full life and a long life aren't always the same thing :)

Death is a normal course of the nature. We came from there and will mix into it.

Right, a lot of people seem to be living this kind of life because I think those things are the spice of life. We are often not aware of what we are going through life, for example we understand the value of our health when wr lose it or see someone has lost it.

Sorry for your possible lost in your family. Have a good day.

Don't know what we have until it is gone.

However, once dead, I don't think we will know, so it will be those behind who are in the position to lament the loss. Perhaps because of this, we can be reminded that it is how we treat people while they live that matters, not how we remember them.

No one gets out alive.

I think death is a great built in motivator. It’s a feature not a bug.

“Honey, I’ll take out the trash next century.”

I see it this way too - without death, we would likely waste our life - most of us waste it as is :)

Two things in life they say... death and taxes right? I guess no one can say for sure if anything actually happens after death, but we can hope that something cool does happen. I actually read somewhere that they think the chemicals in your brain make you experience your final moments of death in a way in which it feels like it takes hundreds of years. I'm not sure how I feel about that. Of course it might be ******** too. Hope you've been doing well.

Would be nice if something cool happens - an eternity of nothingness sounds boring - if I have to experience it ;)

The chemical thing could do that - if you think the "life flash before your eyes" thing, where in those moments, you get to live it all again.

I'm sorry to hear about the loss in your family :( ... Blood or not, he meant something to you.

And yes, sometimes children can come up with incredible things :) I believe that we go on, but I definitely respect all opinions. When did she start understanding about death?

Thanks - I think I will feel it more when I see my niece.

She started weirdly young and would talk to her grandparents about "when they will die" - but a little over a year ago, our dog died and that made her more interested, once she was ready to talk about it.

She's a thinker like her dad :) ... Mom isn't going to enjoy that part???

Mom is already frustrated!

🤣 maybe you should get her some philosophy books for her birthday 😂

When I asked why she thought this, she said that it was because before she was born she was nothing, so after death, she will be nothing again.

Your daughter said this? Wow. At her age I was still stuck on teletubbies or something

I honestly love the way you write. I know you focus on finance a lot but when delving into other issues, your train of writing is quite impressive.

I think death is a topic most people don't want to talk about because they are afraid of even the thought. I must admit I have been here and I'm still trying hard not to imagine it.