Death and Dying, part 1


Over the weekend I finished reading “Tuesdays with Morrie.”  I don’t want to spoil the ending, but Morrie dies.  Go figure?!

Two things really jumped out at me in this book: ending well and detachment.

Ending well…wow, that hit me right between the eyes.  I was thinking as I was reading this book that while death is the final end (on earth at least), we are constantly closing chapters in our life and it is important to end well.  I am not sure I do this well.

When I am coming to the end of a relationship I either try to deny the end (drift away) or burn my bridges.  I recently had a friend move away to Richmond.  He had numerous going away parties and I had countless opportunities to say a formal goodbye and tell him what he meant to me.  But I am always afraid of being too sentimental so I said nothing except, “I will miss having lunch with you.”  Boy that was a real tear jerker.  I guess I assumed that there was always email and IM.  Why bother telling him that his friendship meant a lot to me?  But the truth is I think the real message I conveyed was “I really don’t care.”  As a result, I have not heard a peep from him since he left and my emails are not responded to.

The second theme that really caught my attention was the concept of detachment.  Now by detachment he did not mean being emotionally detached.  Rather when we feel a powerful emotion, we should try and recognize it, experience it, and then let it go.  This is especially useful for negative emotions.

So often when I am pissed off, I try to ignore it.  I ignore and ignore and ignore.  Then at some inappropriate moment, when I am under stress, I erupt on the closest target.  The person I end up going off on may have had the most minor offense, but I go nuclear because I haven’t dealt will all the pent up crap.  Morrie’s point seemed to be that when something happens, recognize it (hey this is really upsetting me), deal with it and then let it go.

So if you are reading this now, GO TO HELL (ending well) AND YOU ARE REALLY PISSING ME OFF! There, I feel better (detachment). 

More to come…

By Ben Posted in Life

10 comments on “Death and Dying, part 1

  1. hmmmm, good thoughts Ben, but I think I prefer this…. BITE ME! (ending well) and KISS MY BIG HAIRY TOE! (detachment), whew, you are right that does feel better. hehehe

  2. You spend WAY too much time introspecting. I think what you really need is a copy of Field and Stream or Outdoor Life, a beer, and some pizza. This is all a fallout of what I like to call the womanizing of men. We’re supposed to cry and hug and get all sentimental. Now guys are even wearing makeup! Used to be only actors and homosexuals wore makeup (and often they were one and the same). You told him you were going to miss lunch with him, what more did he want, a kiss? Maybe he’s just busy. Or maybe he didn’t like you. Heck, I used to feel guilty that I didn’t keep good contact with my friends from my last job, but then I realized, hell, I am the only one writing here, they never send me an email out of the blue. So I email when I feel like it, and hope it makes em feel guilty!
    Oh and I looked up the guy who wrote that book! Betcha he wears make-up.
    No sir, you need to reclaim your male spirit. Ending well means finishing that last beer and bite of pizza at the same time. Or shooting the last bastard with your last bullet. Detachment is when you rip someones head off for pissing you off.
    Time to get yourself a new book, I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell.
    Screw you and the horse you rode in on (ending well) and I DON’T GIVE A RATS NUTS FOR WHETHER I PISS YOU OFF OR NOT, I feel fine thanks.(detachment)

  3. This was a great post – and you can never have too much introspection… ok maybe you can if it drives you lots and lots of alcohol or vicodin – but in reality, you needed to think through this situation and tuesdays with morrie is a good way to do that. i’m a fan, though the book is a bit depressing in that learning from tragedy kind of way….

    to snowblind – I’m pretty sure, they’ll serve beer in heaven actually a)Jesus turned water into wine b)Jesus was accused of being a drunk c)Guiness is just TOO good to not be from God!!!

    anyway – PISS OFF(ending well) and I LOVE PISSING PEOPLE OFF thank you very much!(detachment.

  4. Well I take it back, he’s had Oprah on his show, THAT makes him a real man! Ha!
    Actually I have heard a lot of good things, and keep meaning to get around to reading his books, but with 5 kids, and trying to get my certifications, I have no time. I still say that picture on the front page of his site makes him look a little light in the loafers though.

    I admit this was a great post, but I have to disagree about the introspecting. You start out thinking about finishing well, and you wind up wondering if you would look good with a balsa wood belly button cover. Too scary.

    Oh and “I hope they have beer in hell” is the title of a book by some scumbag who is spending his life in riotous living. I am guessing that little of his time is spent “introspecting” So, though I liked the post, I still had to yank the Walrus’ chain. It is my job.

    As to the beer in heaven, well I have a confession, I liked the title of that book, because I can’t stand beer. I know it’s a tragedy, but true. Alcoholic beverages of any type make me throw up, shut up, I know they make other people throw up too, but I am talking about after half a glass or so. Ever since a certain riotous camping trip which the Walrus will no doubt remember, I just can’t stand it.

  5. ok… as the “token” female who only occasionally posts comments, I have to say something here to respond to this, as well as some of comments posted on your other recent entries:

    a) introspection and emotion are NOT “girly”! God made us to be emotional beings; why would he want half of his human creation to hide this in an effort to be more “manly”? It is only society that tells us that these things are not macho. Guess what? Jesus wept … publicly! He was not afraid to show a little emotion! Why should you be? You’ve been going through some incredibly emotional times in the last few years; don’t bottle that up!

    b) I’ve actually been pretty impressed by some of your blog entries, Ben. I used to think of you as Ben, my smart-ass friend who does a killer impression of a certain harelipped preacher of our acquaintance, and who makes jokes about suicides. You were, in my mind, at least, a hell of a lot of fun to be around, but not very deep. After reading some of these blogs, though, I have to apologize to you for that. I don’t know if it’s always been there, but I didn’t know you well enough to see it, or if you’re growing and are now more secure with putting your feelings “out there”, but you’ve shared more of yourself than any of these other yahoos have, and while they may give you a hard time for it, you start them thinking at least, and might just encourage them to grow, too. I absolutely love reading your posts about Ethan. It is so obvious that you are head-over-heels for the kid, and you are a great dad.

    c) and finally, to Snowblind: “GROW UP, ALREADY!” (ending well) and “I HAVE MORE BALLS THAN THE LOT OF YOU PUT TOGETHER!” (detachment)


  6. I ain’t no “yahoo,” takes one to know one Judi.

    Brian you wrote, “It’s best to stay on her good side.” LOL Brian, I have been on her bad side from day one. I live there, so there ain’t nothing there that scares me anymore. hehehehe

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