Saturday, July 23, 2011

On death

I read somewhere that if it were possible, most people would NOT want to know the exact day they're going to die.

There are pros and cons for each position. (Uh…for those people neurotic enough...me...to actually think about it.)

Pros for knowing the exact day you’re going to die include being able to LIVE IT THE EFF UP every single day until that time.

Go ahead!!!! Get drunk every day!!! Go skydiving!!! Try crack!! (kidding mom.)

Of course, knowing how you’ll die is the clincher in this cryptic “pro” (Amy Winehouse)…so maybe you shouldn’t try crack.

But still. I imagine knowing the exact day you’ll die would make you feel invincible until that day.

Another pro for knowing the exact day you’ll die is being able to say goodbye to everyone you love.

Or finally making a move on the guy (or girl) you like.

BONUS: “Screw birth control!! I’m gonna die tomorrow!!!” (kidding again, mom.)

On a more moral note, you could also settle any arguments that you don’t want to bring with you to the afterlife.

But there are cons, too.

Because while everyone knows they’re going to die one day (panic attack! panic attack!) having an exact date could make you a crazy basket case, rocking back and forth until that day, scared to leave the house.

Or not wanting to make any new friends because, really, I’M GOING TO DIE TOMORROW WHAT’S THE POINT???

(That would be no way to live.)

As such, my preferred choice (and that of the majority of Americans surveyed in a 2008 study) is to choose NOT to know.

Pros include sheer ignorance; you’d wake up every day with a "business as usual" mindset.
You’d still do laundry, save money, eat at Subway, plan vacations.

Another pro to not knowing is that you wouldn’t have to tell everyone teary goodbyes, with suffocating tears and choking hugs.

Because in my last moments on Earth, I’d rather not see people crying, especially not my twin sister, Joy, because when I see her cry it physically affects me.

And then, if I was able to say everything I always wanted to say to everyone, maybe I’d forgot to tell Katie about how I’ll always remember the time that we did this or that and I’d have that annoying ARGH feeling and my last emotion on Earth would be that I was mad at myself.

(That’s no way to live either.)

Which is why people say never to hold grudges, and let people know how much you love them and appreciate them everyday, as if it were your last.

That is exactly how my friend Carly Donohue lived, right up until the day she died this week, at age 27, from a freak crash while riding as a passenger in a boat/plane thing.

It was unexpected, and she didn’t get to tell anyone goodbye. And she certainly had no idea that when she woke up Wednesday morning that she wouldn’t go back to sleep in her own bed ever again.

She didn’t have all her friends and family lining up to say their last goodbyes and tell her what a wonderful spirit she was.

How she always saw the bright side of things.
How she saw the best in everyone, and truly left everyone smiling.

Carly could very well be looking down at all of us shaking our fists asking why, why why such a good person was taken too early
(If so, I hope she’s flattered at how much she was loved).

But at least she let people she met know how much they meant to her, which I hope gives everyone a little bit of peace.

I still have a framed picture she gave me of us together on my dresser – a going away gift when I moved from South Carolina to New Orleans last year.

Of course, I wish I could have told her how much I appreciated her friendship. And how I wish she could have visited New Orleans one more time so we could dance in circles together. (things we did while drinking)

Above all, I will never forget how she made me feel better during a really bad time in my life (the first few months I moved to New Orleans) and she didn’t cut me off and tell me I’m a big, whiny baby.

(A friend in your darkest hour is a friend indeed).

And I’m glad she doesn’t have to see my (or anyone else’s) choking tears and heavy hearts, because she was never one to wallow or be sad about anything life threw at her during her time here.

I’m glad Carly’s last memories of her friends are of good times and laughter, and I will remember the good times and laughter I had with her until the day I die, too.

(Just don’t tell me when that day is.)

Rest in peace pretty girl.


Love you always.


-Jenny

1 comment:

  1. Lovely words, Jenny. I'm a friend of Carly's, in Charleston now for her service (I can't bring myself to call it a "funeral") and we are all trying as hard as we can to maintain the spirit of celebration that we know she would want... joy in her life rather than sorrow in her death.

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