January 8, 2000    





How has death touched you?

I am lucky enough to have most of my immediate family and a good deal of my extended family still alive. I am lucky to have longevity in my genes. Apart from the day to day road kill, which I never seem to get use to, my most profound experiences of death was when my good friend of 15 years, Lita, was killed suddenly in a fiery car crash in 1995.

Lita was an autrocious driver and never should have been at the helm of a any vehicle. She shared so many of my most important growing experiences that when she died, a huge part of me was lost. But it really is true that those you love stay with you long after they are gone.

I guess I would also count among the dead in my life (although theyare still physically alive) are an ex-boyfriend and a 1/2 dozen friends who where once close, but are no more.

Felicia, 33

This is a grim question.... Several years ago my parents died only a few months apart. The following weeks and many months were a blur. I didn't cope very well. I still miss them terribly.

Laura, 34
, MA

Death has not affected me in anyway...almost. My grandmother just got out of the hospital alive and well. I've only heard of one death in the family, and it was somebody I have never met, heard of, or seen. It's always sad hearing about death.

I have a friend in Hungary, his father died. He was sad, but now he's better. He misses him very much.

There was also a neighbourhood kid who got beaten alot by his usually drunk parents. He was fed up one day and hung himself using a garage door mechansim. His little brother found him hanging there. My personal friends used to go to school with this kid. I thought that was very tragic, since I have never even met or heard of this kid.

Also, today I saw an Investigative Report on The life of morticians. It was pretty disgusting how they had to deal with mutilated dead bodies and such. Freaky job in my opinion…

Ray, 17
Toronto CANADA

I am having trouble answering this question because it makes death sound like a dirty old man.…

Shayna, 28

Death has had a profound affect on my life. Within a year I had lost my father, my mother and my father-in-law. In one day you can empty the contents of someone's home with thirty years of living in it, (our family motto: One Day - One Dumpster), and get rid of all their earthly posessions, What are you left with? What did they really leave behind? Shared memories, lessons of love and giving.

Janet, 42
E. Brunswick
, NJ

On 12/26/1999 my younger brother ended a week of life support.  This is the only time somebody I cared for deeply died. I did not know how deeply I cared for him until he was dead. His death stripped several callous layers from my personality. Prior to his death, I had wept perhaps three times as an adult. Since his death, I sometimes find myself misty eyed as I listen to sad things on the radio or read of them in the paper.

In a complicated way, his death probably had something to do with bringing me, a former athiest, to Christ.

Lowell, MA

My parents died having lived long and full lives. Several friends--in their fifties and sixties--have died and I have felt that the world is a poorer place without them. Three years ago my son died of a miscalculated risk and this tore the fabric of my world. My future is not what it used to be. My husband is a diabetic of 40 years and his health, physical and mental is not good and the quality of his life is degenerating. For him a few years down the road, death will be a release.

Jill, 59
, PA

My dad got into his car and drove head-on into a brick wall at about 80mph. His suicide was pretty surprising and disturbing and continues to shake me whenever I reflect upon it a little, given how relatively close we were and how relatively oblivious I was to his mental state at the time. My mom died from complications related to uteran cancer. I   had the privilege of being her primary care giver over the last year of her life.   It was a rough period but I'm very happy I was there for her until the very end, as I promised her I would be. I still have nightmares about how confused and panicked she was as her mind collapsed in on itself, the latest nightmare being just last night.

mothmc, 35
, FL

That is interesting for me. Despite being 32 and having lost all 4 of my grandparents (most before I was alive) and an aunt and uncle (married to each other), death has not really yet made an impression on me. I fear that when someone finally dies that is close to me I will not have a very good emotional infrastructure in place.

Tom, 32
Flagstaff, AZ

Well, being a Wiccan, which is a sect of Paganism, Death does not have the same effect on me as with many other people. One someone dies, it is my belief that they merely left. I miss them, but I know somewhere I will see them again. And if I choose to, I can visit them anytime I want to. (without ending my life that is.) But I have been fortunate to have known few people that Death has taken from me.

Chris, 25

My father died 9 years ago. He was on the west coast and I was in New England. He was alone in a nursing home when he died. I found out 2 weeks after it happened. I was sad that my dad died without family around him. But I'm not sad that he died. He was always an abusive man to his family. He drove us away by his actions. I'm more saddened by his life than his death.

Cindy, 41

Unfortunately, in the past year or 2, death has touched me more than I wish. In the past year my Grandfather has passed away, in addition to five animals, one of which was my best friend for 14 years. I do NOT deal well with death, ever, and i still don't.

Ernest, 29

I'm answering this VERY late (28 August 2001). Four days before the question was asked, my father unexpectedly passed away. In the last two weeks, my 18-year-old friend Lucas (whose father shot his mother, and then himself, to death about 6 months ago) died in a car accident. My best friend's mother (who was like my second mother) passed away exactly a week later. That same day, another friend's grandma died. Then there was that Aaliyah chick, a resident from a senior facility I used to work at, and a dog I knew. To tell you the truth, I don't think I'd be affected by death right now, even if I was the one doing the dying.

Kristin, 20

Yesterday / Tomorrow