The Picturing Death Project Journal Entries from 1999-2003

The simple but effective structure for the Picturing Death Project, a cast glass table, four chairs, and journals, provide a structure for journal writing with 4 questions that help participants examine how we will choose to live with the knowledge that death is inevitable. Currently, the project table, chairs and journals reside at Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan in Kalamazoo.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Journal Entry 1

People with near-death experience state that they have seen a tunnel with a bright light at the end. This could just be due to lack of oxygen to the brain. Being raised a Lutheran all of my life, I like to think that I am going to heaven. It is described in the Bible as having pearl gates and streets paved with gold, but this could be a metaphor. Since some of the greatest writers use wonderful metaphors and the Bible is inspired by God, He would use beautiful metaphors.

I think heaven is perfect, there is no prejudice. You can read people’s minds, and so understand their perspective and ideas so you will understand their actions so no get angry with them. The great philosophical (I can’t spell) questions like what is the sound of one hand clapping and what happens after you die will be answered because you can read everyones’ minds and they can read read yours so all discussions and understanding can happen instantly so everyone will have a great epiphany. there will be no pain because pain is caused by misunderstandings and mistakes due to inadequate knowledge, and since you can read everyone’s minds instantly and vice versa, you will know everything, so everything will be perfect. And this one thing that is most out of man’s (or woman’s to be PC, even though I mean mankind) understanding but strongly in our hearts, God will be there with us, everything will be A.O.K. And anything we couldn’t figure out, we just ask the big Guy, and He would tell somebody. And everybody would instantly know in the twinkling of an eye and a trumpet blast. We would finally be able to access that 90% of the knowledge that is stuck in brains that we can’t access because our brain doesn’t have the right wrinkle.

I have had someone close to me die, but I seem to keep myself distant from it. I don’t particularly like funerals. When I was real little my brothers best friend died. The truck rolled on loose gravel. He was 10. I remember when they said Charlie died. I said to myself, “Not that Charlie.” We went to the visitation and yes, it was that Charlie. His neck was covered in thick make-up to hide where the shards of glass had cut. My Grandma died around last Thanksgiving. I didn’t want to go to her funeral. We never saw her as much as we should have, she would come out in her apron and bandana on her head and give us a great big hug. She cooked great meals for us while we were there and always wanted me to draw, oh how she loved the drawings. Now she is simply not there. I worked in a nursing home for 5 years, and that’s how it goes. They get sick so you don’t set there place at the table and then they’re not there so you don’t set there place at the table and eventually the memories fade and you forget that phrase that they repeated continuously and how the liked their toast. My Grandpa (on the other side of the family) died when he was 82. I don’t remember how old he was. I didn’t know hem that well. He just sat there and didn’t say much and let us pick out one wooden toy, the duck with the rubber flaps on the wheels that flap, flap, flapped as you pushed it. He had a fake eye, but I don’t know which one. My mom told me he was always the first one up and out in the field. The neighbors tried to beat him out, always getting up earlier and earlier, but couldn’t do it. One day they got up extra early and went out to the fields with lanterns and that was the only time they beat him out to the field, and they were never able to again. When he retired, he continued waking up at 4 in the morning, and he wet to the doctor to see what was wrong. The doctor told him he had “old farmer’s disease” and he wanted to know how to cure it. He was just too used to getting up early to change.

I wish I knew this serious, hard working man. Those are my own experiences with death. And this, too, shall pass.

I do not think that the knowledge that I am going to die adds anything to my life. I plan for the future, not considering it may not be. I try to put as much enjoyment into the bustle of life as I can without being extravagant. I do not think I would change anything in my life if I knew the date I was going to die, except maybe warn the. “ Yeah, I’m not showing up to work next week, I’m going to be dead.” I would try to pay my debts. The thought of owing anyone erks me. As does being a burden on others, needing their help. Death does not scare me. Growing old worries me. i don’t want to not be able to move, to think on my own. Should I settle down, buy land, have kids? Travel, adventure, see the world? How could I afford either one of these? Responsibility? The uncertainty of life worries me more than the uncertainty of death does.

I have things I want to accomplish in life. Some I’ve done. I own a house. Some I haven’t. I’ve never been off this continent. But the fact that I am going to die does not add meaning to either of these. I do not regret things I have done and do not regret not yet having done all of my goals. If I did all my goals, then death would have meaning. I would just be waiting for it. But I will always have projects to do.

Death, oh where is thy sting?

It is a good day to die.

I have no hopes or fears of death. I have hopes and fears of possibilities of my life, but these will no longer matter when I’m dead. that is due to my faith. When I die, I’ll go to heaven, if my faith is correct. If it is not, either there will be nothing (that doesn’t seem so bad, nothing to hope or fear there) or I will be reincarnated (I’ve been good due to the faith I do have, if that’s true, I’ll be reincarnated as something good. Nothing to hope or fear there). So either way, I’m set. If the question is meaning method of death, I don’t really have that either. Pain is temporary. And most people close to death are so badly injured, they are in shock and don’t feel any pain. The one thing I would fear is the effect on my mom (I am a momma’s boy). I would hate to cause her pain. I would also hate for her to die, she is my rock and someone I can talk to about my day. It would be lonely without her. One time she got in a bad car accident and fractured some vertebrae. She had a long neck brace on and had a bruise on one eye. Visiting her in that hospital room made me nauseous and light headed. I had to sit down, a little ways away. I hate hospitals. What I hoe for is a quick burial.

I want to be buried right away, right where I die in a simple, old-fashioned wooden casket. Then, call everyone I know and tell them I’m gone. They can get together and drink and have a good time and tell stories of how crazy I was. My mom said I couldn’t do this because if I don’t have a funeral, everyone will think it’s a joke and won’t believe I’m dead. I’m never going to die, I’m just going to show up missing.

My mom also says people need closure. She was driving a pastor’s son home from basketball practice and got rear-ended, and he died. He was in 7th or 8th grade. She cried a lot at the funeral, but it helped.

Death is not a pretty thing.

Journal Entry 2 (Robin)

There was a time when I thought that I would simply be assumed into the goodness of God. That God was all of existence and so whatever was good about my life would become one w/God's goodness and the individual "me" would simply cease to be differentiated. But I am awed by peoples' experiences of having a sense that "dad" or "Walter" are somehow still themselves, still conscious and ever attending to this existence. So, what is it like for them now, and me to come?

I believe I will be in relationship with others. I am aware that I have casual interactions with it seems hundreds of people. I enjoy meeting new people but being somewhat reserved, I cling to a few close friends. In this sense, I think after death will be similar. I will connect with a few close people, but somehow be in tune with the whole celestial choir. Perhaps I feel I will have a sense of belonging and arrival that I don't experience fully here. Is it the "I shall not rest (fully) until I rest in thee" experience? I think so. If I am in a place, I imagine my sensation will be like the days I feel most ALIVE! Bright sun, combo of nature and culture, water, trees, mountains. I doubt that the place will be a place, but my sensation will be uplifting, free.

I continue to remember the very positive spirit of my grandfather, on my dad's side. I also appreciate my grandmother. It would be good to connect with them. In my work, I have been in a relationship (BRIEFLY) with people who I feel may have felt let down by me (such EGO!). Perhaps if would be hard to "see" them again, although it would also be a chance to make up for whatever we lack.

It's hard to begin here because I've been around death after it wasn't personal, or close. It is possible to imagine death without engaging it, at least to some degree. However, very often I do think of someone close while I'm sitting at the funeral of someone I don't really know well.

I am not a good predictor of death. I don't really see death in someone's eyes or hear it in their breath. I am startled when I witness someone "alive" and then a brief time later realize they are dead.

I was very sad when my mother took my dog to the pound and had him put to sleep. I felt anger of course, and I felt guilty for not taking better care of him. But I also missed my companion and felt a void in my daily routine. Most of the time, I feel that the person will be okay.

I haven't connected to too many suicides, I may feel different about that. My job keeps me focused on those left behind.

My sister-in-law just related an experience to me about her father who recently died and he seemed to "INTERVENE' in a situation in her life. She of course related in a humorous way but clearly wanted me to understand that she truly felt that he was present to the situation in an active way.

THE NUCLEAR AGE-I've wondered if growing up under the mushroom cloud has had any affect on me. Do I hold life more "loosely" than my predecessors because I could be vaporized at any time? From some far away place?

I think of my death in somewhat heroic terms. I am connected spiritually to those who struggle against injustice. The powers do not give up power freely, so the expectation is that there will be violence. I understand that God chooses instruments of Her will at certain times, and those instruments are after called to martyrdom. So, death is a companion to my spiritual reflection.

My children have pushed me in 2 directions-they are very VITAL and ALIVE, and so they take me far away from death. But, I also relate to them in terms of the cycle of life, in that the torch is passed to them from my parents and from me.Their growing means my aging and my movement towards death.

DEATH on the horizon means I can't do anything about it, so why be overly concerned.

However, I jog and exercise in order to make the most of my life.

I may be like others in that it's old age that is worrisome, as much as death. I'm not eager to lose my ability to take care of myself or my family. This is a judgment on my part, but in many cases it is borne out of the comments of those involved.

I'd like to think that I am a good person by choice, but death is a motivation...

KEEP THE LIGHT ON. Death is a sneaky fellow, lurking behind what seems like a friendly face, a familiar place. Let the beacon of the "normal" life cycle stay lit so as to fend off the intruder when he is unexpected.

LET THE SHOW BEGIN-all the usual characters should be cast for this big show. Wife, kids, grand kids, some friends-old and new. And from the other side, let the master of ceremonies be mom and dad, who were there at the beginning now bring down the curtain as well.

Can there be music? Can I sing a hymn to death, that final act?

I have to get on the dragon's back, hoist myself up, give myself freely to this ride. Soon I will be flying, gone from the familiar, through dark toward who knows what-But the dragon will turn into a white PEGASUS, carrying me to the light, on into formation with all the other HIGH flying people of God.



Cosmos, beauty, journey. What type of substance there will be I can’t fathom but that there will be beauty and love that it is a good place I feel 95% sure.At other times that 5% uncertainty arises and the images of Hell and Damnation, of paying for earthly wrongs and sins looms up and I am not at all pleased with the idea of facing a Judgment. I greatly prefer my images of warm whole love and peace. I selfishly desire to be able to peek back at earth, my loved ones and continue to flow the stories of their lives. Will I meet any Soul/Spirit/Being/Force I will recognize as my father Ralph Fothergill, my Grandparents.? Will I know or see others close to me who have gone before me into this mystery?

I have comforted others at their death by sharing my firm belief that it is love an goodness they are passing to. Am I right? Most of the time I fell strongly secure that I am.

Your paintings, Deborah, are very deep and rich. Their warm colors give me that sense of peace and security that I am right.

Lorraine Steppien the first time I was attending physician-calm, cool, confident. I had worked through 6 weeks of her hospitalization to keep her alive, to communicate clearly to her as her body fell apart one vital organ system at a time. I had paused several times to speak of death with her to inform her about hospice care. I tried to show her her was a choice; there was some say in how she would die. but she wouldn't embrace it. She kept telling me to carry on, to keep her alive. Through 2 limb amputations, through kidney failure, through painful drug reaction skin rashes. the morning finally came when she hardly roused as I walked into her room. I held Lorraine’s hand, I looked into her eyes and our struggle against death had been so long and so intense, that even at that moment I couldn’t believe it had come. I walked out of the room explaining to the resident all the things we needed to do and I believed at that moment could do to improve Lorraine’s breathing. 2 hours later the resident called me at my office and told me Lorraine had died. “I didn’t get to say good bye I didn’t get to kiss her!” Then slowly the images became clear of all the evidence that morning that this was, at last, death. I had missed it.

My father did not die peacefully. He had Brain Cancer and lost his ability to communicate with us several weeks before he died. His last few weeks he had periods of extreme agitation. Groaning, tossing and turning, striking out-in anger? At us? At God? At some hallucination? I will never know. We tried all the hospice tricks, I was on the telephone with my mother almost daily. Adequate pain relief, tranquilizers. When and how do we intervene in this experience of dying?How could we ease his suffering? Early on prayer and the presence of his friends and music helped but at the end it did not.

Some where around the time of my father’s death I began to feel so deeply the gift that is life. The births of my children also touched that deep place. We are not here on this planet because of our own decision to be here. There is a mysterious gift that is given and earth receives with each birth. I praise that mystery that giver of the gift of life more and more now. I open each day with raise from my bed before I even open my eyes. Praise to God, Sophia, Creator, Mystery

Good health. I am supposed to be an expert. A crusader in the fight against age, decay, death. I am a physician.

How can I help people broaden their definition of life? Go for quality instead of quantity. Yes, you smoke, that is your choice. You know it will shorten your life span most probably but what does that really mean to you? Did your father live to be 95 years old and hate the last 20 years of it?

I know many physicians who as they age begin to neglect risk factors for heart disease. Seeing from their experiences that a quick death in the middle of a pleasurable activity. Heart attack while golfing, eating a huge and excellent meal, making not at all a bad way to die.

Yes we are all going to die so what shall we do right now with our life? It is a gift. I begin with thanks and praise. It is a journey full of mystery. I embrace it the best I can. Trying no to get too hung up on the salvaging of material being. I like my gray hair. It feels good to become mature in my body, my mind, my spirit. It may all be remarkably transformed tomorrow. I could die at any moment!

I think I have always avoided this question. Of course it frightens me a great deal. My parents are in their mid-80’s now and I look at them, ow they are facing death. I am desperately saddened, moved and fascinated by their lives now. Very different approaches. Polar opposites. I see the values of each of their set of beliefs and actions surrounding death. I can’t begin to consider my own response, so I look at my father and my mother, seeing what they do.

My father is a scientist. Work was-and is-his life. His approach is to think up projects-books, articles-to complete. He always has a new idea, a fountain of energy and focus. He is not looking at death, he is looking at life, and what there is that he can do. I think, but am not sure, that I admire this. It is life-affirming. It is also very easy for me to get caught up in his projects.

My mother, the daughter of a minister, is very concerned about propriety. What amazes and delights me is that she is a wild gardener.That is, her garden is not at all proper. It is overflowing, overwhelming all boundaries. My mother can't stop planting. Her “garden” has grown into a two acre mass of color and texture. She has tended this ground for 40 years. Huge trees which she planted long ago, now overarch pathways and shade small ponds and a gazebo. Her garden in my mother’s erotic secret.

In the last five years, my mother has grown increasingly religious and conservative.She disapproves of more and more, and is very upset with the current societal state of things.

I haven’t experienced the death of a person close to me. I have experienced the death of many animals. Some were my pets, but not all. One of the deaths was caused by me. I was hunting with my father in Africa. I was eight, so it seems it couldn’t have been me that killed the Thompson’s Gazelle. But I did know how to shoot. My dad probably shot it, but I honestly don’t remember who held the rifle.

We were in a land rover with several other scientists-all men. I remember the gazelle going down in a cloud of dust. I remember jumping out and helping to slit open the belly. My arms were covered in blood. I was mesmerized, exhilarated. I looked at my father. He was clearly shocked at my appearance-spattered with blood, blood streaming from my fingers. I was frozen in space by that look. I had “joined the hunt” but that isn’t what I was supposed to do. I looked at the eyes of the gazelle, no longer shining and wet but opaque with death. Flies were everywhere. I had kill something very beautiful. Something very beautiful was dead in me. Or maybe I was aware of something very horrible. I couldn't think about this event again until I was 32 in a therapist’s office.

These questions about death make me squirm. I feel my answers are evasive, slippery fish. I’m not able to hold. I’m not as scared of my own death as I am of the death of those whom I love. I’d rather die myself than live without them. A cowardly response/

I’m getting married-in two weeks-very late in life. I’ve wondered why now/ I was not unhappy being single, though I have long searched for a relationship. It does have something to do with time passing, of less time in front of me than behind. Perhaps fear of dying alone. Or fear of not knowing someone in all their beauty and pain. Of not being known and perhaps even loved in spite of my dreadful limitations. Perhaps I’m also marry now-and so properly, too we haven’t even lived together first!-because my parents will die soon. and that makes me feel very lonely. I didn’t want to die not knowing someone very well. I’m looking forward to the joys and struggles of my life with X.

I’m also aware that I might not have much longer to produce work. I still don’t feel I’ve “hit my stride’. And I love what I do and I want to put everything into it.

I have been traveling in the subarctic North Atlantic-following the Mid-Atlantic fault line through Iceland and where it fractures off to Greenland and towards the Faroe Islands. I have been hiking into volcanic calderas and over pitted lava fields. Because of the high latitude, there is ice surrounding and interacting with the molten pressures from the center of the earth. I look at these primal manifestations of beginnings and endings, in the face of all this, attains a proper perspective. It is natural and not even personal in this setting.

I want to follow icebergs from the west coast of Greenland down from the Gulf Stream painting these glacial fossils as they split, crack and melt into the sea.

Journal Entry 20

I have idea, but my faith tells me I join the heavenly host.

I'd love to give Mom and Dad a hug and shake hands with Mr. Lincoln.

Hope to be able to come back on assignment to help folks.

Journal Entry 96

I hope that I die in complete peace with all my loved ones surrounding me. I hope that I have accomplished all of the goals I have set out for myself and I hope I have lived a long prosperous life. The only fear I have is not in death itself but in dying. I do not want to die a slow agonizing death. I do not want my loved ones to see me in pain and i do not want to deal with pain myself.

Journal Entry 115


First tear of the downpour, turned torrent floods clean the streets of debris. A breeze at last, one that is not more humid than water. Distant sirens sing harmony with the swollen kettle. At last it’s cool enough for tea. Camelia petals flutter in my home and the the call. Gut wrenching, soul crushing, she’s dead. In that perfection to my perception, she died. Where to now, well no where, for her, she has found eternity. But that is insignificant, it is what happens to us. the ceremony , the grief, a loss like no other. Unconditional love proven false. How could I exist beyond her? So on the couch, I occupy space, for days, months, a year maybe, while she has been incinerated and place in a lovely jeweled jar. When I went to visit her empty home I forgot to look at that jar, it made no sense. In death, others deny her true reincarnation, Kept isolated some where on a mountain.side useless to all her surroundings, what is her purpose? It was nothing to do with humanity and then again, everything does. We are star dust, don’t forget it.

Only she is stuck in a porcelain black hole. Antimatter certainly. At least for those who have found sleep in a common grave, they lend great service to worms. And god - well god is dead.

two concentric circles.

2. experinced

July 5th 2001, I had called him on the fourth, morphine freshly injected non-sensical slurs. He said he loved me and that the fourth of July would make a lovely memory - un beau Souvenire.

On the 7th a phone call from Ricka, a wild redheaded flemish woman who seemed to pride herself on the tufts of flame orange hair which had a tendency to startle the average American. He died early the morning of the 5th. He didn’t want his children to know. The funeral is tommorrow at 11 am. I was invited to late, physically impossible to travel that far and still have my time to weep. So instead I finished unsettled business and at the first available moment caught a flight. A fine distraction on the side, something my father would have approved of. On arrival, Phillipe sat me down at dinner, it was outside with the backdrop of the Cevenes Mountains, a millionstars, with gas station wine at our disposal.

He took his own life - your father is the bravest man I have ever known. Dignity to the last second. So with the help of a doctor - her address is still in my bag- he began the suicide. Morphine - then he gave himself an enema so as not to leave any uncomfortable, or unpleasant situations post mortem. Then the dose which should have killed him. Well that did NOT WORK!

So Phillpe called the docotr and she came back with more death drugs. My father still stumbling finally rested in bed. His last words to all who were with him - Bon c’est fini, le spectacle est fini.

3. what meaning

I am an insect, or nothing more than a lowly ameoba. To live, to experience, it all as if tommorow is hypothetical. Thrills, love, heartache, wild times, forgigiveness, all or nothing. If I could only rationalize children - but there are too many - and we are not alone here let us not forget. We feed off the skeletons of the dead, the wisdom, the fuel, evolution for crying-out-loud- so none.. I die, so be it, you die, I will mourn but not too much since that would be silly.

Pain killers may have blurred or slurred intent, but may be there is no better dream-like state.

Floating through my days, sleeping so soundly at night, All or nothing, everything is here for YOU, the one reading this now. Ask, swindle, plead, be a good neighbor and the world is at your disposal. Magic only exists if you have the balls and ambition to grab it - kiss me, kiss me deadly - with your bad blood, and I will be a black and white flicker reflected on the orb of your eye. I donate all my stupid trinkets to charity - by Gis and by St. Charity - a lack and fie for shame.

4.hopes and fears

I hope I will have found that plate-smashing love I have wanted forever. I can only aspire to

die with the kind of dignity my father had. Fear is not an issue, or not in death itself- but in the end of life will I have finished? It’s not a real fear of course, my life is full now, I could be quite

content if that was it , die semi annonymous it’s ok, Maybe I fear an after life, when it end I hope thats it! No dreams. No god, no salvation or damnation. I hope we are the physical, even our thought are the physical, neurons, dendrites working to orchestrate it all. We end - our purpose? CHILDREN- but No, we have no purpose now deviant behavior has replaced our drive, our lust. I FEAR I want children anyway. Baby art, the currators would raise it. Erase my life after I’m done, remember me as entity # 1,564 - that will make me happy. Or maybe I fucked up and I am all wrong. I fear that a bit, but only a bit.

Journal Entry 122

1. What do you imagine?

Although sometimes I think I am on the brink. Oh no s‘cuse me for rhyming . I have almost died, and at the edge of life and death, remember feeling a bit nervous because of my complete lack of knowledge regarding what does happen. And so I look back to the question and see “ What do you imagine happens?”

The imagination is a blender. She said, “ Maybe you need to blend everything up?”

Nothing is after I die. Nothing, but for fun, comfort, piece of mind, quiet of soul, satisfaction, and full of tummy.....I make things up like what I’m doing here. I say nothing to quiet, or too quiet to write about, and its okay, and it doesn’t matter. I’m not writing this for me, but for you.....pray you are of sound composure, and healthy mind and soul.

On a circle and the cycle of life, reincarnation, past life regression. Death as the beginning of a new cycle around. Death as the end of an old no real point it does begin round.

2. Have you experienced?


She was so sweet and dependant on me, to me, for me. She needed me, was my baby and it was an unexpected joy of a consolation prize after the abortion. Slept with me, walked with me, ate sometimes hated me. To begin all I would get in return were marks and scratches on my hands and arms. For months.

Then I left, and when I came back home she was in a boot. A big black boot. I called her name, “ Kimm. Kimmie.” And she called back and we were in love.

I am still in love and still conlent and can never forget how that morning went. He and I had argued the night before slamming doors and pounding the floor. He had been gone for weeks. When he came back she saw that it was him that made me angry. By morning we were friends again. By morning Kimmie was sink frozen, and sunk in rigamortis at the bottom of the fish tank. Oh. fuck oh shit I pulled her out and flailed on the floor with my cold wet dead rodent cluthced to my chest trying to make her warm again.

I put her in her pouch and then a nice cigar box with flowers all around and carried it with me all day.

I sat in my parents living room with my box on my lap.

He dug the hole in the cold in the dark and starved himself for two days. He felt bad.

3. What meaning?

It means that the few things humans have been doing, factually, since before I can remember being told. okay. right all together now. ‘This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius.” Brotherly love.”

One would, united, under the sun, and the moon. Mhmmmhm that’s right and to think you thought that “pledge allegience” poem said we was all under god.

It meant that I should be happy and smile and make others smile and live nicely, and go slow, and relax. Time is a luxury like a gold and platinum diamond set Movida, or Rolex? It means I should work hard and feel satisfied. It means I should forgive myself for watching “Charmed” with my cousin. Many in an attempt to satisfy and make her happy. Even thought I can’t stand the show, or television and most movies for that matter. Because it made her happy and if she’s happy I’m happy. But, I only did it once, watched, “Charmed”, that is. And I’ll never do it again.

She thinks she’s a witch, and it makes her feel something I’m not sure what. But it makes me feel like vomit. Not a big deal really, I don’t think about it too much. Except for now. “Charmed” the television series starring Rose Mcgowan. She’s that actress who dated Marilyn Manson. They were cute together. There’s a good meaning to life, ummm what was it, for death. Gossip, family, friends, scandal, makeup (which I say was the death of the female). Makeup, sex, coffee, dancing, smiling, laughing, Kind of like Hedonism in Jamaica. I used to have bright yellow t-shirt when I was eight or nine. I didn’t know what it meant but I thought it was such a cool t-shirt.

4. Hopes and Fears

I want to drowned in deep blue clear water. Empty no plants, coral, or animals. The Dead Sea.

Journal Entry 125


We’ve all heard the stories of the people who had near death experiences and claim they saw a dark tunnel with a bright light at the end, but then what happens?? Is that really what happens to everyone, or is that just a re-play of being born, as if to start another beginning. I don’t know....The whole fantasy of Heaven and Hell seems more like a fairy tale. Ending to life rather than a reality; as well the reincarnation ending. So maybe we do ust turn to dirt...There is no story about where we came from before being conceived, so perhaps we just return back to that

“nothing” place. I think everyone’s need to find an answer to this question, is simply derived from fear of the admitting that there is no answer to this question, is admitting that there is no need to be afraid of what comes after death.

2. Death of a loved one, or yourself

I’ve been fortunate (to date) in that I’ve not lost anyone very close to me. People I know have died, but no one Ive had a close relationship with.

I imagine, (I hope) I’ll die an old woman, asleep in my bed, surrounded by photos of grandkids and great-grandkids (Like the old woman in ‘Titanic’). There is a history of long life in my family. My great grandmother ( who’s my namesake) died at 102 (she was 100 at my birth).

My grandparents are in their upper 80’s and still kicken! I’ve been blessed with good healthy genes, there’s been no serious illness on either sides of my family. Im also not the adventurous type. So all that’s really left is a ‘freak accident’ or dying of ‘old age’. so hopefully I’ll live up to my namesake and live to 102.

3. what meaning

When I was around five, I would run crying into my parents room because I was afraid of death, or maybe it was just an excuse to sleep in their room, I don’t know. But since then, I haven’t been really afraid that I was going to die, until after the attacks of September 11th.. But unlike most people who were afraid of dying from another attack, I was more afraid of our government’s stupidity to retaliate and provoke a much larger, devastating attack. I was afraid of another draft and losing my little brother or boyfriend., or even being drafted myself. But other than that, I haven’t really given much thought about dying. I guess I should do more of that “live everyday to the fullest” - “Carpe-Diem” stuff, I just haven’t gotten around to that yet I guess...

4. I hope by the time I die, I’ m surrounded by huge, loving family, and I’ve acccomplished everything I set out to do. I just want a family more than anything else, more than success, money, or Fame. I just want to die with unconditional love.

I fear that I’ll die without those things. Alone, un-loved, unsuccessful, and too young. I fear dying alone more than I fear dying a long painful, gruesome death. Dying unloved , is dying uncomplete, without contentment, without support. That’s what I fear about death. (And maybe eaten alive by cockroaches) :)

Journal Entry 155

I try not to imagine what happens to me after I die. I do, however, imagine what happens to those I have loved I see my grandmother sitting in light, my grandfather in dark, Gudrun smiling, hair done, lipstick on. Mother just there, waiting.

When my cat Figaro was dying, I said to him “Don’t get lost in the universe. Come back for me.” I would like him there when I go, and I imagine Mother and Gudrun will be too. I’ll meet up with my grandparents later.

Maybe we’ll all meet at the cottage with the other ghosts who live there. We come back i the spring and are their guests. I imagine they live there in Winter, the sun low on the lake, the cottage smells. They make dinner there, smoke, play games at the table. They lay low when we get there in the spring. They are hospitable, concerned, non-interfering. We’ll join them sooner or later, they know that and don’t fret at how long that will take. Granny visits, and Grif and Scott, Martha and John. Figaro catches ghost mice who don’t mind it at all.

Larry will be going there soon, and waiting for Susan in back of the red tree in the cemetery.

When my grandmother died, I was sitting in the room with Susan. We were talking, then I noticed Grandma’s breathing change. I looked at Susan and sid, “she’s going.” We went to her had, we held her hands. She had been spouting gibberish earlier in the evening. My father became afraid. told the nurse at the NH he wanted an ambulance called. My grandmother had colon cancer, had dropped 150 #’s. The nurse knew what the transfer would entail, how uncomfortable my grandmother would be in CPR, how unnecessary that would be. She said to my father, no, don’t do that, like a quiet prayer and I said, let’s stay here and he got it. He took my mother and Auntie Mary, Pat and Tomina, Grandma’s sister, out to dinner. Susan and I were alone when she started to change from living to dead. My mother who had been drinking, started keening loudly, “oh lord, have mercy on this miserable sinner.” My father held his mother’s feet. I put my anger at my mother on the back burner, and watched my grandmother breath in, breath out. Then just stopped in time. Oh, she’s died, I thought. How easy that looked. How unafraid she has made me. She taught me something else.

I can’t say I’ve been afraid of dying since then. It was just another thing that she taught me how to do like sing to my children and bake Irish soda bread. Tell a good story. Laugh real loud, gossip with dedication. Be sly, figure a way around a problem, use your head. Be comfortable lying if you have to.

Journal Entry 158

You do not feel a physical dimension to yourself but a presence with another person. Yo try to stay connected to those individuals you are closest to (when you are alive). I’m not sure how long this connection lasts or what happens if and when the connection stops. I don’t think that it necessarily goes on forever. Perhaps that connection transforms into something that gets absorbed by others who are still living. I am also not sure what determines how long the person who has died remains present. Some people who have died have an ability to send messages to those living. This happens near the time of death. Perhaps those who receive the message are ones who are receptive to receiving it.

I have experienced the death of my father who was very close to me. I’m not sure what typed of a death he had as he was not responsive for the last 2 days. HE seemed to be afraid and so we never left his side. He probably did not want to die. I don’t think he was ready because he always fought back with any life threatening condition he had and he did not want them to die. He was a great dad. My sister was especially close to him. We tried to do what was best but were not sure what that was as we received no guidance from the nurses or physicians. I still wonder if we did the right thing for him but now think that we did what we thought was best. And that was to sit by him continuously, holding his hand. When he finally died, it was so hard to believe that he was hone. We just held him and waited for a long time until we told the nurse. Then it seemed like he was gone and the body (his body) was no longer the place where he was. He seemed to be somewhere else and I did not have to be with his body to be with him. In fact, at the wake, I did not connect his body with the person he was. It was like just a symbol of him, but not really him so the wake was not difficult at all. Rather, what reminded me of him was, for example, music that we played. That brought tears to my eyes and made me realize how much I missed him. I can now write this and smile but for the first 5-7 years or so, it would have made me cry.

Journal Entry 159

I have always believed that those or my loved ones who have gone on before me are waiting for me. I don’t know where this place is but I believe it is a destination to a type of terminal where I will remain with my loved ones until judgment day. I think that while I am in this terminal I am allowed to have a life review. This life review provides me with an opportunity to reflect on how I could have done things differently in my life. This review gives me an opportunity to consider the next journey I will take. I often think that the journey is just the beginning but it is the destination that is already written. I think that my death will take me to whatever destination has been predetermined by God or whatever supreme being or higher power. I think that all the pain and suffering I have experienced in life is revealed to me and the why behind it is also made clear to me. I believe that it is only the beginning and that the end is unknown. I also think that there is a vast wilderness through which one travels because life is a journey and that there are certain aspects of a journey must take after death. Life and death are cyclical and one is a mirror reflection of the other. Sometimes this reflection is positive and sometimes it is negative but it is a given and must have an opportunity to to reveal itself as it was meant to be. As one wise man says Death is only the beginning. What that beginning is at best unknown and unfinished.

The death of my mother was sudden and unexpected. One evening while snapping beans with two of my sisters, my mom had what is known as TIA. She was taken to a community hospital where she later had a stroke. It was very difficult to see my mother’s body ravaged by a stroke because I always viewed her as a very strong and commanding individual. Two days prior to my mother’s discharge from the hospital, she died. None of us could accept what happened because when we arrived at the hospital to view my mom’s body it appeared as if she was sleeping. The staff had prepared a body well there were no signs of any tubes, body fluids or other hospital items. My family is baptist and felt very comforted by the chaplain who was available. He was of the catholic faith but he knew what to say and how to say it. Because he provided me with strength, it was easiest for me to provide my sisters with support as they arrived. The most memorable part of the whole experience was the old adage that as one soul dies another is born. The day that my mom died was also the day that my sister gave birth to my niece. This was a time of joy and pain. So as I stated earlier in the day there can be no love without loss and no loss without love. This experience of my mom’s death occurred at such a young age which further emphasized to me that we should enjoy each day given to us because we are not promised a tomorrow. My mom’s death is always with me, during times of stress and sadness I wish that I could reach out to her but I do feel that she is always with me looking over me and says it will be okay. I often hear her voice saying it will be okay. My mom’s death was the most trouble to experience in my life. I did not truly realize how much I loved her until she was gone.

Journal Entry 171


No matter what it is peaceful...

Despite how one may die.

Death can be a relief

It should not be feared of,

There is no pain when you are dead

I believe and hope this life is short in

comparison of death and life after


I believe life exists because of death,

They are coexisting

Everything in life prepares one for death,

every bit of life gets one closer to death,

It’s ok.

I do believe people go different ways

when they die, there are the ones that

go to “Heaven”, the ones who got to “Hell”

and the ones who are “lost”.

Who knows, all three places could be fun.

It’s a time of reflection, to look back and

see what life meant, was it worth it? why?

What did one do for the meaning of life?

How did one affect life, the world?

Was there a reason, even if small, to live?

Will I be able to communicate w/people full of life?

I am separate from the living? Will I still be recognized?

For how long?:

Or maybe none of this will matter to me.

When are you considered dead?


When is one considered Dead?

Is it merely a physical term or more than that.

I’d like to believe Death is a broader term,

One is dead, or should I say a body is dead

When the body is hollow and lifeless

How does it get hollow?

Are some people more hollow than others?

in a sense I think so.

I’ve experienced many deaths of all definitions

Many aquaintences w/people I’ve noticed

they could be dead, no life, no spirit left in them

for whatever reasons

Friends, family members looking fabulous

on the outside, but decaying away inside...


The greatest goal in life is to remain full of life until

your death, rather than face physical death being lifeless,


This way of dying is the true fear for myself.

Numerous deaths by cancer,

I’ve accepted that it is reality for me

Death by suicidal shooting,

Death by not waking up,

Death by the body randomly giving up,

Death by disease,

Death by old age,

Death by accident,

Death by bombing,

Death by plane crash,

Which way is the best way?

I don’t think it matters one bit.

No worries, life goes on after death.


Life , every bit of it, is a reminder of Death.

Death is a reminder of life.

To answer this question would be to write down

my whole life experience so far. Every deciesion in life is contributed to

your death.

Being happy and fulfilled to the end is

how I try to look at life, but all of the decisions

along the way can be be distracting .

Death gives everyone a reason to live, and to live

contently , but it should’t be a selfish thing like some may say to you.

Question, why you are living?

Despite the technicalites one who is alive,

is living and there is a reason for that life.

If that were not so, Life would be pointless, an done who thins that is missing out on life.


Hope to be happy, or hope to have been happy,

Hope to have experienced as much as possible

good or bad

Hope to be fulfilled, whatever that means

it’s different for each person

Hope to be loved or to have loved as much as possible

Hope to be rememered often.

Hope to leave a dent somewhere in this life w/someone or something

I fear I will not be comfortable w/ the fact of

unknowing death an dwhat it brings.

Other than that, I’m not afraid of death or

What it brings, but fearful of how I might die.

Journal Entry 205

I believe that actually dying may be similar to the many near death experiences that are documented. I believe for myself that my spirit will leave my body with my last breath. I think and hope I will be able to feel the love of my family that is still alive yet be surrounded by the love of those I anxiously await to be reunited with. ONce I read in a book that I was reading to help me cope with my father’s death that “the soul lives where it loved.” that line has stayed with me and I believe that my soul/spirit will live with those I love who may be alive and deceased. I imagine being the wind blowing through my daughter’s hair.

I have experienced the deaths of several close family members all at home with hospice care. The first and probably the one that had the greatest impact on me was that of my father. He had always been a stout, happy, easy going man. As he approached death he had withered so much although his barrel chested frame still remained. His face was drawn and complexion gray. As he exhaled for the last time it was a long drawn out breath. You could almost tell that it was the last molecule of oxygen leaving his body. His physical appearance began to change immediately, his mouth gaping open. My mother continued to attempt to get him to breath by opening and closing his mouth with her hands and instructing him to breath. I felt his spirit in the room and really saw his body as an empty shell. In my mind and heart I knew that he was no longer with his physical shell. He was free.

When I cared for my father-in-law in his home and hospice, he had throat caner, he had a tracheotomy and a feeding tube. He didn’t want either one. When he took his last breath it almost appeared to me that as he exhaled his spirit left his body. He too transformed before my eyes. Yet this transformation was very obvious that besides his spirit leaving, all the physical pain left also. He was at peace totally.

Journal Entry 697


I imagine there will be a passage process where the density of my body, perhaps unprocessed emotions, habituated thought processes and forms will, in effect, untangle, disravel or somehow be known by my conscious being. I imagine there will be a revelatory process where I will see and 'fee' where I have been and where I am now. I imagine my death will be a perfect expression of where I need to be at that moment. I imagine there will be familiarity there.


I experienced my father's death. As he hovered in between worlds, he responded to his sisters and my communications. I felt to guide him to leave his body and meet those awaiting him would help him let go. I talked to him with the love I felt but with the humor he understood. And, even though he was not 'primarily' conscious his responses let me know he was aware of what was going on. After his final breathe I sat with him and looked at his fully nude body, at every aspect of his body - the man I had so much pain and trouble with yet the father I loved deeply. I left his hospital room and went into the bathroom in the hallway. Then I broke down and weeped for him, for all I yearned for, all I needed, for all the pain. An illumination came into the room, a sense of calm and compassion and I literally felt a hand on my right shoulder. A peace settled over me. Somewhere in that touch I felt my dad. There have been other occasions where I have discerned his 'message' to me.

My own death has come in pictures. I felt as if I was walking and sleeping with death before. I believe death is ever our companion but it's closeness signals a possibility of occurrence. I get the impression I may die in an accident. If I die slowly I would like to make it a conscious affair, a sacred time. If I am adventuresome enough I may choose a very 'untraditional' death. In writing this I feel a great respect for death. Perhaps I can befriend DEATH and dance with it.


It puts a limit to time and space and movement as I know it. If I wait until tomorrow perhaps it will not be. More focus on the fullness of now. NOW - what potential have I not explored? Yet mastership requires the patience and endurance of time which then speaks to me about an eternality to life, that death is not the end. I feel that being born has a purpose inherent within the awareness of being a conscious completely imbued creative character. Death has to be an integral part of Birth. Perhaps the door we enter through is similar to the door we exit from. When I feel out the possibilities of death I 'fear' I may not fulfill the purpose of my birth. I see and feel my body take shape based on how I have dealt with the challenges of my daily life. I want to express my aging gracefully. I want to face my death courageously. I want to do it willingly. I hope I can become more conscious in the process of my dieing.


My greatest hope is that I will be free to die as I choose. I hope I am unencumbered with the medical model of death and our current cultural model of 'the embalming' and funeral process. I hope where I go I do not leave any complicated mess for my relatives or friends to care for. I hope I can make the change now, the engagement in LIFE more intensely; the engagement of DEATH and 'letting go' more fully to create a death that is a celebration, a touching revelation to those I have known. In saying this, my greatest fears are that I will die a mediocre death, mired in pain, loss of control and with affairs unattended to. This will reveal the 'less than perfect' aspects of myself I try to hide but are now committed to face. To face the 'less than perfect' or 'less than loving' aspects of myself and life or to me facing my death. I hope to die to the unresolved, the deeply hurt, the one who feels unworthy of love; I hope to face these fears, these harsh ugly terrible ogres and release them with mercy and awareness. This to me is facing my death. This is the dance.

Journal Entry 696


I imagine that I will be greeted by jesus and all of my loved ones who have already passed away. We will live in heaven floating on clouds watching our other loved one who have not yet passed, in their times of need being close o their hearts as I know my loved ones have done for me as I live. I will be a angel for others that need someone if in the case they don't have anyone they know who has passed away yet. Jesus we talk to me about how he viewed my life and how to be a great angel for others. I will speak with my loved ones that I have missed and grieve for the ones I won't be able to directly communicate with until they also come to heaven.


My niece as well as both my grandpas have passed away. My niece has affected me the most even though I didn't see her often. I loved her and now she is my angel she gives me signs to know she is watching me. I love her for that. She was only two year old such a short life but she had a impact on so many people in my family and others. I regret so few times I spent with her. But every time I see a ladybug or a light flash went no one touched it I know she is there.

*miss you Molly*

Also I feel I have experienced my own death through my use of drugs and to this day I thank god for letting me be reborn. I look at life differently and in knowing that my life could have ended makes me enjoy life more.

My nephew also was close to death when he was born and every chance I get I go see him and look in his big eyes and thank god for giving me this gift. I would have understood if he had to go but I'm so glad god let him stay with us. Love you so much Matthew. As I held him in my arms at the hospital I just knew he would choose to stay with us if that was god's choice and he is now doing so well, he is a happy child.


I never really gave death much thought until I thought I may die from drugs or kill myself so I could stop using. Now hoping I will die of old age and not by something I caused, I live my life better than before. I know what makes me happy and I try to do those things. Being around my family and my boyfriend's family makes me feel close to earth and god. I know I will die and no one knows how, I just hope I don't cause someone else too much pain or have to suffer much myself.

Your soul never ends you live in others.


My deepest hope is to be in my lovely husbands arms and pass away in my sleep knowing my children and family are able to care for themselves and will miss me but not too much to know I will live on in their hearts.

My deepest fear is that I will die before I have a family as in children and a husband and that it will be very painful and I will be alone (as in no one physically there for me). I know god and my angels will be there even if it's painful or all of a sudden and I didn't get to do everything I wanted to do.

Journal Entry 691


When I think about death, I realize that I don't like thinking about it - who does? But then I also know that my beliefs about it have changed over the years as I have matured + grown in unexpected ways. I have never particularly feared death itself, but the process of dying. I have a friend who is dying in bits + pieces of a chronic, uncurable disease that is slowly robbing of her ability to live fully. Little by little, she is losing pieces of herself until soon she will be housebound. I would not like to live like that, but I don't think I would surrender + die willingly either. I just don't understand death at all - how can something, whether it's a person, an animal, or even a bug, be alive + full of the spirit of creation one moment, and dead + motionless the next? What is the distinction between one state + the next? How can people not be awed + overwhelmed by the essence of life + not respect it as it deserves. If we as a species were more reverent of life, perhaps we would not be so fearful of death. It is, after all, only the next stage - we do not cease to exist, but come to exist in a different form of energy. I do not believe in a Christian Heaven or Hell, not do I believe that after life is an endless void. I also don't believe is reincarnations without choice. I believe in the existence of a soul - part of creation - which exists now on earth because we chose to be here, to do our life's work. When it is done, we rejoin our Creator, and if we choose, we return to life to continue our work, or to learn whatever lessons we did not learn on a previous journey. Or we stay joined with our Creator as a conscious spirit.


My mother died of cancer 3 weeks ago. For her, I am so grateful that she quit fighting and allowed herself to move on. She loved butterflies, her entire little apartment was full of them. I can clearly see my mom fluttering along like a beautiful butterfly - free from pain at last. She had lessons to teach even at the end of her life. My older sister died in 1994, also of cancer. My mom had kept in touch with my sisters best friend Nancy ever since my sister died. When I called Nancy to tell her of my mom's death, she was surprised that she had lost her battle with cancer. My mom never told Nancy she had cancer. For over a year after her diagnosis, during phone conversations + correspondence, she never passed on her bad news. Nancy had been unexpectedly windowed in a tragic accident + my mom was more concerned about Nancy's well-being than her own. My last lesson from my mom dead at 86 years of age.


The only real concern I have is how much time do I have left? There is so much more I have to learn + do + see, I haven't even began my own life's purpose yet. So far, I have become an adult, helped my son to become an amazing adult, but I haven't done what I came here in this life to do. I only hope I have enough time to figure it out + accomplish my task. Otherwise, I guess I'll just have to come back again + start over.


After my son moved to another state, I felt very alone + isolated. In the loneliest hours of the night, I would picture my funeral + nobody came. That would be a great tragedy - not that I died alone, but that I died unmourned - meaning that I hadn't touched anyone else, or helped anyone else, or made a difference in someone else's life, so that my death mattered. I remember reading a memorial a friend of mine wrote about his aunt. She was poor and lived alone in a small town for many years. When she died he went to clean out her little apartment + found that all of her possessions fit into the trunk + back seat of his car. But when he went to her funeral service, the church was packed by all the people whose lives she had touched is small, simple ways. I hope that I live well enough that that is how I end my life - not to be mourned, but to be remembered with joy by people I knew.

Journal Entry 684


Death of someone close to me, my father, my happy, silly, father when I was fifteen! Why did you leave us? I still want to sail with you.

My grandfathers one so big, one so tall, kind and gentle, gruff and martial. I still want to eat oranges with you.

My grandmothers - one tiny, one fat, one proper, one laughing. I still want to eat soup with you.

My babies. I still want to hold you.


I remember the day, the day before Thanksgiving. I was putting a ham into the oven cradling the phone on my shoulder. You have cancer the phone said. Come to the hospital on Monday. We need to do a complete hysterectomy NOW!

Just then my guest arrived. Thank you God. Ginny's soft warm hug, Jacks reassurances, Hank's concern. My baby's total indifference, cookie, cookie?

I don't think I remember anything for I felt nothing, nothing but loss. No more babies, in fact I felt no more woman. No more, no more, just emptiness. I cried over baby food commercials, I cried when I saw a pregnant woman. I cried and cried and cried some more.

Then one day I woke up. I smelled a rose. I brushed my daughter's hair. I ate ice cream. The world is a beautiful place and I'm going to enjoy it.

Thank you!


Deepest, deepest fear. loss, loss, loss. Loss of control, loss of control, loss of love. But is death loss of love? Or is it the return to Perfect Love? Oh one who loves perfectly, please don't remove control of my body and replace it with pain, or if that is not possible please send someone who will love me with no control or constraints when I have lost control of all.

My deepest hope is that Death will come as quietly, as peacefully, as comfortably as I sink into sleep with my comforter, my comforter, holding my hand and drifting away. Silently, peacefully, serenely.

Journal Entry 683


I have already experienced the sensation many people describe they see in near death experiences.

I was in a tunnel. It was like being inside of a long needle. At the end of the tunnel was a bright white light.

I went through the other side of the light. It was very, very peaceful there.

I didn't want to leave, but I knew I had to go back. I had to return back to the otherside. I talked with God. He told me I was to discover 3 things. He told me what the 3 things were. They were very simple. I wanted to remember what I was supposed to discover when I returned back to the other side. I was surrounded by a fence.

Then I returned.

I couldn't remember what I was supposed to discover, so I am sill on a journey of discovery.


When I was 4 years old, I fell down some basement stairs and cracked my skull open on a cement floor. My family drove me to the hospital. When I was at Bronson Hospital they told my mother, I was too sick to be there and they sent me home. The next day my doctor came to the house to see me. That was the first time I met Dr. Talanda. Years later he told one he always used that example in lectures he gave. How someone so young could survive a serious head injury, while many others, older do not.


I always communicate anything and everything to someone I choose to in a given amount of time.

Communicate fully, like this is my last chance.

Communicate love to everyone.

I do what I can, when I can to make the difference.

Say I love you, before the other person.

Always try and be the first one to say "I love you!"

Always take the risk. If you are not making mistakes, you are just dead anyway.


I am afraid of the dark.

Journal Entry 682


I believe after I die that I will have no more sorrow, no tears, no fears, no worries, no sickness, no bad memories, no hate, no more questions.

I believe there will be much light - vivid colors, esquite beings, family, friends (won't that be great!) I believe somehow old hates/hurts will be healed love will radiate to and from each being like light rainbowed through a prizm. I will be part of a large chorus and sing praises for time upon time. I will dance + worship and never grow tired.

i will be a new being. I will know and be known. I will have my questions answered and "it" will all make sense.

I believe that when I die there will be at least one, but maybe more, to help me to the other side.

i imagine I am happy and at peace.


I have experienced my death few times. I have only thought of my own death a few times. I am starting to think about my death more as I age, with my work, as I experience the death of loved ones.

My first close experience to death. I was 7-8 at my uncle's lightening hit - a car as as I reached out to touch it. i remember being somewhat scared but mostly embarrassed because we were in a strange neighborhood and my dad was out in my uncle's yard in only his boxers on.

I also remember hiding from mom in a neighbor's yard. I fell asleep for a few hours and when I got home my mother was beside herself in fear and agitation. "I thought someone had kidnapped you - raped you - killed you." I don't remember the exact words just that it seemed life threatens.

My best experiences in death was when I gave my heart to Jesus. I really was opened. I cryed until the alter was dripping wet. But i was so happy. I truly became a new person that day. The old me had died forever.


Death adds meaning to my life - gives urgency to life esp to spiritual aspects of life. If I lived forever I could put off (even more than I already do) my spiritual growth - that inner awakening. My approaching death gives me hope - helps me bear hardships, gives structure, and is a catalist for my seeking transformation.

Journal Entry 681


Cold - dark - silent!

Question - is this real?

What comes next?

Has the sky really opened up? Will the sunshine appear again?

Will I see my Lord? Am I worthy?

This dark tunnel - there's light at the end of it.

What will I see at the end of it?


Dottie was always such a "bouncy" - vivacious person + often spoke in sort of "off the top of her head." But then she was slipping away. I held her hand as I watched over her. As those last deaths came I kissed her on the forehead, told her I loved her. And now I frequently visit her at the Cathedral garden. dottie, Tom, Craig + now Miriam. Our years of friendship were short - life is short - and those years pass before me as I stare at the plaques that identify each of you - and I weep - May peace be with you.


Time passes quickly - life is short. It is not until well past middle age that one faces this fact. All of a sudden I am an elderly woman + am being treated as such. I am counting my years ahead as less than I've lived in past. I'm trying to adjust to this but it's hard to accept. Showing my love + my love for my Lord surely will help me accept end of life gracefully. Without love there is nothing.


Peacefully - with my Lord at the end of the tunnel of death.

Journal Entry 680


As a toddler - grannie Packer + grandpa May

As a child - Dearly loved pets, + parents' friend (less close to me less real)

People were old when they died - it was a long-in-the-future event. The status quo would reign over us for a long long time.

As a young woman, the first wave came. I was far away and my presence was seen as non-essential and difficult.I believe I should have been there. Missed my first opportunities.


The process of accepting the reality of my approaching death emphasizes the importance + preciousness of each day - sometimes each hour and how I choose to use this time. Sometimes that reality shows itself as impatience - and I don't want to be "impatience." So I am driven to continue my work on figuring out the shape of who I wish to become - believing that I've been given this time limit as a gift - else the process might be forever postponed. Still, the loss of my our life, somehow might seem easier that to accept than loss of those closest to me.


I wish to be aware of the process, to experience the process - gently. I hope to experience richness in the closure and find a new beginning or a knowing as I slip back into the greatest source from which I came.