October 11, 2014 at 10:06 am #26537
Full article is here
Share your thoughts here about death and dying, and how to cope with it.October 11, 2014 at 12:06 pm #26544
Early days I thought I was going to be a veterinarian. Not many schools back then – accepted and put on a wait list for 2 years before could start. Decided maybe just continue education while waiting and switch to pre-med. That was the beginning of my education about death and dying. Carving up cadavers was a lot different than carving up dead animals. You don’t have a choice but to think about, well, what you think yourself about death and develop a personal philosophy.
Have taken care of several close relatives, incl my mother for almost 3 years, as their bodies slowly wasted away abandoning them. Care-giving is no picnic either – especially when you have emotional attachments to your ‘patient’, and have your own obligations and life to take care of. Rough balancing.
Throw in business travel to many places undergoing major ‘civil unrest’ in the ’80’s – people shot randomly on streets in front of you in broad daylight (drug cartels in Columbia and VZ), stumbling upon dead bodies left to rot in the sun in Nicaragua…I can not even imagine being in a true combat situation or a siege/bombing situation such as Selco, the people in Syria, Gaza or so many other places.
You either crack up mentally (sooner or later), try to squash it all down and ‘carry on’ and deal with the effects of that…or you face the more than unpleasant fact of death and dying, examine it and answer the questions for your own self of ‘why?’, ‘why them and not me?’, ‘is that all?’, ‘what is the point?’ – and look for answers in all of places, hoping someone, somewhere can provide the answers. You either come up with your own philosophy and beliefs that make the most sense to you to make it all ‘understandable’…or…fill in so many different scenarios. Bitterness, cynicism common.
Most people I know have never been with someone they know when they actually take their last breath. They get a call – from police or a hospital or a nursing facility. They have no idea how messy normal death and dying can be. Those that do eventually witness a death can go in to shock as the reality/finality sets in. Witness a violent death or its immediate aftermath? You can not sometimes eat or talk for at least a few days. The human body can take an amazing amount of disease and dysfunction as it slowly rots and shrivels and shrinks before it finally quits working.The human body when it is breached my violent forces can take on an almost unrecognizable form. Yes. Selco of course is correct. Dirty, bloody, smelly….another living organism in process of returning to ‘dust’
Am old enough now that I have determined my own philosophy and set of beliefs that help me face the subject, my own death included. But it wasn’t a quick or rock-less path/journey. But at least I have something to cling and hold onto each time I now encounter it.
My initial thoughts OTOMH on the subject.October 11, 2014 at 3:35 pm #26550
Good article Selco. Makes you think of what will happen to many in a SHTF times. Many will not be able to handle the dieing and will leave them, some will go crazy and some will get depressed for a long time. This will be a problem for all of us and we will not really know how well we will handle it till it happens to us.
I personally am preparing for that day when my parents pass away since everyday they are here is a gift from God right now. My father is 85 and my mother is 82. I have seen a decline in there health this last year so I know everyday they are with me is a gift. I am very close to them and they are close to me, I am a lucky man. I will lose a piece of my self the day they pass away. I am trying to get prepared for that day.October 12, 2014 at 9:17 am #26643
You make good point Freedom, it is very good to appreciate every day that we spent with our loved ones.October 12, 2014 at 10:12 am #26649
This will be a challenge. At anytime I know that I could be faced with a terrorist attack or war. There are also the natural disasters and accidents. There is no way to imagine how it will affect me or those around me so we have to be prepared and equip ourselves with insights provided in articles like these. Thank you Selco
Tweva the part of your comment “‘is that all?’” is a recent reaction to a friends death at his burial. The family was just at our place for a meal 3 weeks ago. 3 days ago we are walking his body to be placed in the earth. Burial is different here. No coffins or showing. The idea is to relieve the dead as soon as possible thus the dead are buried within 24 hours. Men carry the body wrapped in a white cloth as we follow behind. Then the body is inserted into a place dug in the ground and the men take turns shoveling dirt to fill the grave. Raw and real. I have always thought it was a part of the life process but this time I felt “what a waste” and “is that all there is?” Thank you for sharing your insights. This is truly an important part of being prepped.
LovelyNightBirdOctober 12, 2014 at 10:42 am #26650
I’ve thought of this before, when something I see on the news or a documentary makes me think, that I’ve never in my life seen anyone die, or a body after death, other than after it has been prepared by an undertaker, and I’m 58 years old.
Hollywood death, no matter how gruesome, I think somehow registers in your brain that it is fake, but even actual dead bodies, life from WWII documentaries, though sometimes jarring, can’t possibly come really close to the actual thing, partly because they are shot in black & white.
Even without some sort of conflict causing the deaths I wonder how people used to cope with so much death. I’ve looked at grave stones from the 1800’s where the parents had five or six children and none of them made it beyond their teens, some that had several children years apart in age, yet died a few days to a month apart probably due to some flu or other communicable illness.
I suppose this is another one of those things, like combat, that you just don’t know how you will react until it happens.
This is what I like about you, Selco, unlike almost all of the other “Preppers” out there you have actually “been there and done that”, and your posts are always thought provoking.October 12, 2014 at 12:11 pm #26653
Everyone has made good points on the subject. Prepping is my attempt to avoid the deaths of my own family members, hoping everyone lives a normal life span. After shtf the idea of normalcy seems absurd, but that’s what I’m working towards.
Freedom & Selco’s comments about using your time wisely match my perspective. On my last day I won’t be thinking, I wish I had gone to work more weekends away from my loved ones.October 12, 2014 at 1:49 pm #26666
I help my sister-in-law care for one of my brothers in his final days and was with him when he died of cancer at age 47. Less than two years prior to that I helped my mother with my Dad and was with him when he died of cancer at age 67. Their deaths were peaceful being they had slipped into comas before passing, but I can say it is far harder to be with someone as they pass than just showing up at a funeral. 3 months after that brother died, my Dad’s
twin brother died too and I can say that it is also harder having seemingly cumulative deaths like that than dealing with single events spaced widely apart. More recently we had 4 in an 18 month span and it was emotionally exhausting (father-in-law, then brother aged 54, then mother-in-law, then mother). I note this because in a long term SHTF scenario, we will likely see more clusters like this.
Another aspect of this are the young mothers and children. Both of my grandfathers were just babies when their mothers died. My mother-in-law was 3 when her mother died. This used to be very common. I took a walk through the cemetery in my neighborhood. The tombstones date back to the latter 1700’s. I saw stone after stone of women in their late teens and 20’s, often with babies and young children buried with or adjacent to them. I’m an amateur genealogist and if you go back a few generations families losing children to all manner of diseases was pretty common. Adults frequently succumbed to tuberculosis, flu, and other things we hardly give a thought to today.October 12, 2014 at 8:26 pm #26699
With all of technology’s advancement as well as medicine we in America have been cushioned in a sense from death. Not that it doesn’t happen but it is not as frequent so it is much more shocking when we do see it here. A soldier on a battlefield accepts the risk and knows he will see death or possibly die. It doesn’t make it any easier but it is not a shock. I think the why and the emotional attachment are the hardest part to deal with and as said above you never know how you will handle it until it happens to you or around you.October 12, 2014 at 10:51 pm #26712
If you live long enough you will lose someone you have known and loved. Old age, heart disease, cancer, trauma etc. will claim all flesh. The best hope short of the Rapture of the Church is to die in your sleep. I have served in the military and EMS and have lost many family and friends (some in the seemingly prime of their life) and you will grieve. Grieving is normal and usually progresses as follows: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Certainly, when the SHTF there will be more dying, suffering and sorrow. The prep necessary to cope is to walk humbly with God now! Place your hope and confidence in the Lord, he is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent He’s got your back, your front, what’s under your feet and over your head, the knowledge you lack and the strength you need to cope with anything and everything. Romans 5:8October 12, 2014 at 11:30 pm #26730
Hi Slow, welcome to the forum.October 13, 2014 at 4:12 am #26747
I had a rough start in life and lost a lot of people, but I never watched them die.
It wasn’t until I was a little older, a young teen that I saw someone die. The first was a drive by. Just two shots and a crumpled body on the ground writhing around in pain. The police were called, but no one came and he died there in his own blood. It happened so fast, that he died before anyone knew what to do to save him. At the same time, it seemed to take forever while he writhed around in pain. He was shot in the chest and while I was kept at a distance, I could hear the desperation in his voice as he cried out after the initial shot to the chest.
The second time, I got caught in a turf war between two gangs shooting at each other. I was trying to get the hell out of the area because of the shooting going on, but I was kinda pinned down. I saw someone go down about 5 feet from me and I hid behind a wall. I watched from behind the wall as they slowly bled out. They tried to get away, but they must have been hit hard. No one came to their aid. The worst part is they saw me not a few feet away hiding behind a wall trying not to get shot. I saw the anger in their eyes because I did nothing. Eventually, I stopped watching them die and just stayed behind the wall until the bullets stopped flying. When I came out, they were slumped against the wall. Their head down and hands on their wound. Some others came and kicked at their shoes to see if they were alive. It was so surreal. They smelled like ****. Later, I found they had **** themselves after death. People were angry at me for a long time for not doing something, but why would I go out into bullets to carry this man which was twice my size that is dying behind a wall. This man that I didn’t even know and was shooting at other people. I understand risking your life to save an innocent or a child, but a man that is perpetuating the violence? I saw that as wasting my life.
It is hard to live with the blame. It’s harder still to sit there and watch them. To tell them to get behind the wall. To know you could not carry him safely without risking your own life. To know that you are going to be the last person he sees and he hates you even though he doesn’t know your name. It’s hard to be helpless to save another, it’s harder still to accept it. I did though before many others did.
When was the last time you went without electricity, running water, food, and had babies screaming for food...now you know why I prep. These are the things a mother's nightmares are made of.October 13, 2014 at 5:25 am #26751
Thank youOctober 13, 2014 at 6:32 am #26757
Well there is not a day that goes by, that I do not see some form of violence on the t.v… Nearly every video game I have ever grown up with was more or less directed towards strategic warfare, and violence. I would say that because of the way the media etc, has been saturating my mind with these types of images, that I am pretty desensitized to the idea. And everyone my age, or younger is pretty much on the same path. But we all seem to react differently.
When it comes to losing people we care about, that is a pretty sensitive topic. The pain can last a lifetime.
Never be afraid to do the righteous thing, nothing righteous is ever easy.October 13, 2014 at 1:11 pm #26766
Slow, I completely agree with your position about preparing by walking with God now. We believers gain strength from believing, plus we have God’s word to guide us while living. All in all, accepting the fact that we are all going to die, combined with the belief that it is ok for God will be there waiting for us, has literally helped me survive more than once. Had I not believed in God and His word when I faced certain trials, I know I would not be here now.
I pray often that our country will have a rebirth of faith for with it, I am confident we can survive and restore our Republic to its proper and rightful condition. Without it, I fear we are doomed to become just another former world power that diminished into dependence and even into bondage.
For God, Family, Country, & Liberty!
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