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 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) :)

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