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Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust
Chris The Illini wants to directly connect.
Chris The Illini is now directly connected.
Chris The Illini: My great grandmother died last night.

She's been really sick for a long time - when we went up on New Years Eve, she couldn't move or feed herself. She was usually speaking incoherently, and none of it was in English anymore, it was all in... Serbian? I think. I decided at the time that I really didn't have a need to go see a woman who was obviously dying - I just wouldn't have known how to act.

It's a chance I'll never get again. Only 3 days later, I find out she died. At this point I don't even know why.

My family seems to be passing it off as nothing. It was dropped as an idle comment more than anything else. An informative "hey, your great grandma died. We won't be in town on Monday and Tuesday." Of course, the first thing I thought of was the fact that if I was gone on those days, I couldn't go down to Decatur with Sarah.

I don't know why that's the first/only thing that came to mind. Not "Oh no!" Not even anything sympathetic. First thought that came to my head was about Sarah. About me. This just seems so wrong to me. It seems like I really don't deserve to be living here, I don't deserve all the good stuff I have. A million different people have things a million times worse than me, and rather than even thinking about the people I know who are truly in pain, who are truly hurting, like my grampa who went into the hospital when he heard she died, I worry about myself. I worry about how things are going to work out for me.

I'm a selfish little... well, I don't even have a word. I just feel horribly for not caring. Yet, at the same time, I continue to not care.

I don't know what I'm doing anymore. But I do know this New Years Eve won't be nearly as fun as I was hoping it might be.

Based on what I've heard, she was going to die. No matter what anybody did about anything, she was ready to die. She couldn't move, she couldn't eat, she could barely think, and the situation was only bound to get worse. They were spending thousands of dollars a day keeping her in the hospital, and she had to leave the day after New Years no matter what. Opa would never have made a decision as to what to do.

I don't know what to say, I don't know what to do, I don't know how to feel. All I know is that right now, the way I feel doesn't seem right. I should care, and I just don't.

Anyway, I just had to write this somewhere. Sorry to bother all of you who read this, but I hate making private entries - they seem to breed secrecy. So, ya'll have to deal with this.

And as I wrote this, a new email came in. I'm going to put it all here, in case there are any STC people who read this.

"I am afraid that I have bad news to send out to all of you. One of our former Track runners, T.J. Nensel was killed in a car accident in St. Louis this week while visiting his father. Arrangements are being handled by Yurs Funeral Home. Visitation is on Sunday from 4 pm - 8 pm. Funeral is at the Baptist Church at 12th and Oak on Monday at 10 am. I hope you have a chance to come out and support the family and freinds.

Sorry to have to bring you this sad news. Call me if you have any questions.

Coach Rod"

I didn't know him, so far as I know. All my yearbooks are at school, so I don't have any way of checking. But it's just...

I think I just hate being reminded of my own mortality. And this definitely is.

I feel lost. And as a testament to my selfishness, I've started 8 of these paragrphs with "I" *sigh*

Maybe I'll just go back to bed.

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It's never easy to face your own mortality. To realize that yes, one day you will cease to be living, will cease to think. It's almost unimaginable, isn't it? Perhaps the answer to why that is lies in Gödel's theorem - or some variation therein. A self-contained system cannot, by definition, evaluate itself.

Having said that, when we are reminded of these things - it can come as a shock. You think you have to act a certain way, and you want to - but I'm not sure that's so important, all important to outwardly or inwardly show it. It's not as if you're glad she died. More like - numb to it, which is rather normal for having just been told about it. And to have someone else, close to your age, die, is just as horrifying, just as viscerally repulsive to that reptilian brain that is right there, clawing past rationality and any sense of reason, toward immortality.

There's an entry of mine you might want to read. I'll give you the link. It might make you feel... not so alone. I hope.


Of course, I'm usually around on IRC these days, if you need to talk.

You're not wrong or bad or evil for thinking this way. I really suck at death-- have no idea what to say, can't write anything, can't do anything coherent, and just don't know how to feel. That's, well, normal.

Death and grieving isn't always about the person who died-- it's about the people who are left behind. It's normal to realize that you could die, too, that you will die someday. It's normal to think of yourself and not the one who has passed. It's okay. Your feelings are valid. You may not like them, but they're valid. In fact, they are a part of the grieving process, and if you don't go through them, you will not complete the process and be able to move forward. So go ahead.

It sounds like your great grandmother was one of those people who had outlived herself. Unfortunately, medical science can keep people alive long after they are ready to go; a lot of elderly people are pretty annoyed at that, let me tell you.

I don't know if you had much of a relationship with your great grandmother, but I've got a writing exercise in my memories that, if you have to come up with something to say at a memorial, might help (Writing for Catharsis, not the sentence length one).

If you do have to speak at a memorial, or to other people who are grieving, try to focus on things from her life that you remember, not things from her death, even if you can't articulate how you feel about those things. I've learned that funerals and memorial services are a time to be dishonest in the extreme, and to let people believe that you really care, you really miss the person, you really feel deeply about things. Usually, though, I'm just numb.

This must be a time for great-grandmother deathes for mine died...last Thurs.

I hadn't seen mine for....6 months when she went. There really isn't a strong bond that the great-grandkids feel for they're...old and really can't do anything. oo;;

I was told that mine went...erm...she lost her marbles a few days before she went. Not that she had many to lose, actually...(read: she made various comments about my attending college and raising a family since I was so well-adjusted out of college...in the same visit)

So it's not going to make you a horrible-person-that-needs-to-die-soon by not feeling sorry.

I know that I didn't feel sorry when I was told that mine died. She had been threatening for years about how she may croak at any minute. So, she just finally followed through.

Besides, once you reach a certian age...You just really need to die. Being confined to beds and wheelchairs and taking enough pills to put any drug addict to shame...That's not anyway to live.

I really don't know what else to say, for...Well, I've never been to a funeral/memorial service for my Mother has always hated to see children there, and has since forbidden us to go to one until we're out of her house.

I'll start with the lighter note of... Of course your sentences are going to start with "I" when you're writing about yourself... it's your journal ;p

You weren't being selfish. You were moreso being realistic. She was going to die, and will be dead wether you are guilty or not. When I die, I don't want my death ruining the lives of people. I'm sure your Great Grandmummy would feel the same way.

I didn't cry when my great grandmother died. I acted like it didn't happen. When I was at the funeral I acted like I was at a social party. Then... as they were closing the casket, i SHOUTED wait... and ran up and took one last look and broke down into tears. Everyone mourns their own way. I may have looked like an asshole to others, but I mourned, and everyone has their own freedom.

I guess the point I am getting at is... well whatever.
At the time I posted this your away message said "Crying" or something of the sort. You are either crying because of the loss, and thats ok. If you are crying because you feel like you are a terrible human being, don't. You aren't...

Lets get back to the funeral. Yes I did cry, you know why? People made me feel like trash, I felt like an inadiquate human being, thats why I cried, self pity and the treatment of my peers. I wasn't crying because I took a final view of my Great Grandmother.

Today (as you probably know though my conversations, or Christy) I don't let what people think get to me, at all, or at least I can do much better then most people can. If I was like that than, I still wouldn't have cried. Death is the end of Life. Everything begins, everything ends. You can't do a thing about it, so what use is mourning. Mourning serves no purpose, but we do it anyway.

Even if you didn't mourn at all you are still a great person, period.

That's the 2 cents I threw off the Empire State Building... and I am not going to mourn the 2 people that got hit by those either.

Feel better...

And to everyone else to posted, I am not trying to sound like an asshole, but there are more reasons he's upset then the death itsself probably. You have to think about these things, because even though you are trying to reassure him, you could be doing things like making him feel more guilty, which upsets him more.

Of course I am commiting Hypocracy when I post a comment like that because I could be wrong, but yeah...

i'm quite well acquainted with death. both of my grandads have died in the past 5 years, and my dad died 2 months ago. if any of that was directed at me. i couldn't begin to say anything else in this comment, because it would either go way past the character limit, or i just couldn't think of the words, or want to share them.

Actually I would like to apologize for the comment. I had rage from the topic itsself, and I hate when people judge others for the way they mourn or don't.

Everyone is unique, and should be allowed to be so.

My apologizies.

i agree with you actually. i hate feeling pressured to visibly mourn. i don't like crying in public very much, and i haven't even told many people at uni. i snapped at the friend who came home with me, who put her own life on hold for a week to be with me. i didnt talk to her for three days, took a lot of my anger out on her. then i just wanted to get back to uni as quickly as possible. i didn't spend days in my room crying, i just tried to get on with my life. that doesn't mean it didnt affect me or he meant nothing to me, but some of the time i felt like people were judging me for how i was acting. i'm doing a psychology degree, and actually did an essay on bereavement recently, so i know how important it is to allow each person to grieve in their own way, among other things.

It sounds like your great grandma was suffering a lot, and it's probably a good thing that she died. It was probably a relief for her. I don't think that it's terribly sinful to not be horribly sad that she's gone.

Don't freak out too much about thinking about yourself. Yes, you should consider the feelings of others and have compassion. But it's natural to think of your own needs and wants first. You're you, after all. Nobody else is. "I" statements are not a testament to your selfisness - all of the "I" statements you used were describing your own feelings, which is something you should do, since only you can do it. Describing your own feelings is good, even if you don't approve of or understand your current feelings - it can help a lot

You aren't a horrible person. I promise. You think you are and I just make it worse and you don't trust me but you aren't a horrible person. Far from it.

I don't know if you will read this, heck I'm not even on your friends list, but It's a good place to write I suppose.

I didn't cry till I saw my great uncle in his coffin. It's kinda hard to believe at first anyway. I mean I loved him like a grandpa, but It's so hard to show that. Most of the time we cry at such frivolous things, it's amazing it takes so much to cry at a death.

I saw my great-grandmother a few days before Thanksgiving, and she greeted me as my other cousin. It made me so terribly sad. I've been told by most of my elders that me and my brother were the only ones that ever paid attention to her. I wish life didn't waste away like that.

Anywho, I'm terribly sorry your great-grandmother died, and I hope you and Sarah had/have fun wherever you're going/you've gone.


Chris you aren't horrible and selfish or any of those things--I think it's just now that you're starting to think about different things that you usually don't tend to have to think about just because of a change of 'events'.

You know everyone is mortal, so why not make the best of the time you have with them? You have a lot of people there for you --Sarah, your family, your friends, so why not make the best of things. :)

*snug* Hope you feel better soon!

You're using the letter I to describe how you feel, and there's nothing wrong with that.

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