My twin sis and I have had many close "brushes with death". At least, to us, they were "close brushes". One day, we were in our room, practicing for our "stage debut aka becoming famous singers. I picked up the closest thing to a drum stick and began to bang. What was it that I picked up???? A thermometer. I banged and we sang. Suddenly, I noticed silver balls resembling bb's on the floor. I bent down to pick one up and it split into 4 more smaller balls. Wow! I called my sis over to see the "magical bb's" on the floor, not realizing that those "bb's" were actually mercury from the thermometer. We touched and watched them split, wanting to see how many smaller balls they'd produce. One of us brainiacs then decided to figure out what those magic balls were and where they came from. Left sitting on the chord organ was the broken thermometer. Oh man! The atmosphere changed. How many times had our mom told us about people dying of mercury poisoning? Countless times. Suddenly, our lives began to flash before our eyes. Before really planning out the end of our lives, I went in to verify our imminent deaths.
"Mommy, could you die if you touched mercury from a thermometer?" I asked.
"Mercury is highly poisonous so yes, you could die, she replied.
I walked back into the room we shared, tears in my eyes. I didn't even have to say it. We were going to die. I ran and got the broom and it took almost an hour to get those balls up because every time the bristles of the broom touched the mercury, it split again and again. Then, we sat with our pens and paper and began to write our wills. The sad thing was that my sister and I had always agreed that we would will each other everything we owned so who gets what if we both died at the same time? We solved that by deciding that if I went first, she'd get my treasures and then, it would be up to her to decide who would get both of our things. Problem solved, we sat there, checking for signs that we were turning blue or having problems breathing. Quietly, we waited. Our mom called us in for dinner and we ate, quietly. Later, we went to bed, still waiting and then when we woke up the next morning, we both decided that God had healed us and that somehow, it just wasn't our time to die.
Another time, when my twin sis and I lost our beloved sea turtle, we had a tearful memorial service and then buried him. A day later, we just couldn't wait. We wanted to see if he was in heaven. We dug and dug until, what we saw his turtle corpse. We buried it back, thinking that maybe, just maybe, he needed a few days to get to where he was going.
I wish I had that same childlike innocence when it comes to death. How simple it would be to will your loved one your stuff and say goodbye and wait or bury it in the ground, dig it back up, then wait? But that's not the way life is. After losing Sam, my shih tzu, I discovered that I don't handle death very well at all. I can't face seeing the shell of what once held life. I can't imagine having to say goodbye, even if it's for a little while.
One thing I've learned when addressing someone who's had a loss is that "sorry" is a wonderful thing to say but it doesn't bring your loved one back.
"He's no longer in pain." True but it doesn't take away missing him.
Or, "You can always get another one." I could but he/she will never replace the one that stole my heart.
So, due to the way I feel about death, I've decided (yes my girls already are aware of this too) that I want to be stuffed. I want one hand formed into a wave so that I'll always be able to say, "hello". Both girls can "share" me. I can spend 6 months with one and then 6 months with the other. I'd be the life of every party and they could ride the diamond lane without a second thought. I'd also tape some of my favorite says and songs so that when they get to missing me some, they can just push a button and I'll sing, "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine..."
Maybe, just maybe, death won't be so tough.
Mmm...Homemade Southern Biscuits
10 hours ago