by Mike Coles (Te vere pronto Mikita)
To some, death is the final frontier, for others, it is not. Of course some of you know what I believe in, so you can probably already guess what I believe in as far as an afterlife is concerned, but what baffles me is what exactly will happen? Well, as if we all already didn't know, nobody really knows.
This article is basically just an article based on experiences that I've had with death and how I view such a subject. So the scattered-brain short story begins.....
Can you or do you remember the first emotional movement you felt inside after losing a loved one, no matter how old you were? Has anyone ever experienced death first hand? By this I mean actually seeing someone die, or just seeing a dead body in general.
My first experience with death, that I can recall anyway, was seeing my relatives in Mexico carrying the coffin that my cousin laid in out their door and into the vehicle. If my memory is correct I was around five, but maybe even younger. I remember looking out the kitchen window when I suddenly saw all of them carrying the coffin out my uncleís door. The wake was being held at my uncles home, something I'm not really sure I ever heard of; having a wake at someone's house. Maybe it is a cultural thing? I really can not recall what went thru my mind when I saw her in the coffin, but I do recall staring at her and at all of the men in our family until finally they were no longer visible. However, I do recall, still not recollecting my thoughts at that moment, leaving the kitchen and going to the top of the stairs where I sat and made bubbles with my saliva, when suddenly I started to cry. I wish I could recall my thoughts.
My next experience with death was a night I wasn't going to forget and not to mention everyone else that was in the house. Imagine a loud scream, followed by; "Joshie!! Joshie!! Wake up!" Now imagine being across the room from where your sister, mother, baby brother, and grandmother are sleeping, and then suddenly you wake up due to hearing your mother scream at the top of her lungs. I was 11 when this occurred the first time, and unfortunately, yet fortunately, it happened again, and again, and again. I say fortunately because my little brother is still alive, but the experiences I had with this sucked. So what exactly happened? Well, let us back up a minute.
Why would God "allow" certain individuals to die at such a young age? A baby dying in their sleep, a child getting hit by a truck, you know, the fear any parent could/should have. I think that is one of the biggest questions anyone could ever have, and a question that will never be answered. Why would it be Gods Will for this child to die and this other child to live? Again, who really knows? I'll never understand it and no one ever will.
My mom was having a dream (God sent) that my little brother Joshua had died. Suddenly waking up, she instinctively checked on my little brother. When she did, she told us all the next day that my little brother was lying there in his crib, blue as can be. She let out a scream that literally shook the windows to the bedroom and immediately (thank God she didn't freeze because of the shock) started giving him CPR. What can an 11 year old do (me), but wonder, dwell, and just stay in shock with what is currently taking place? I remember walking back and forth, not being able to sleep, wondering what was going to happen to my little brother. We have a huge statue of the Virgin Mary in our old house in Mexico City, and I can recall just praying my heart out, begging her to ask God to let my little brother live, did he answer? Thankfully, as I mentioned before hand, he's still ticking. For about a year Joshua had to wear a heart monitor while he slept. Imagine experiencing this at least twenty or more times at such a young age. Now imagine how these experiences with my little brother molded me on how I view death today.
First of all, I do not want any children. Some say that once you conquer your fears, nothing can hold you back or something to that effect, but due to this particular experience, I will never have a child (or so I say). Not only because of the fear of losing him/her, but I just couldn't see myself bringing a child into this chaotic and hate filled world. With life, comes death, and I know that dying is a part of the life process that we all must go through, but I just couldn't imagine my child dying before me. Call it being selfish, call it whatever you wish, but oh well. One of the first things I always tended to ask the person I was dating was if she wanted children, if her reply was "Yes" I would put it in my mind that the relationship wouldn't probably work out. I wouldn't want to put any woman, especially if she was my wife, through the pain and arguments that I would give her with my stubbornness of not wanting a child, if she wanted one.
So let me jump around here for a minute. I want to talk about an individual in my family. My grandfather is one of the most loving people one could ever meet. When I was just a baby, my grandfather lost a son that got electrocuted at work. I don't know the whole story about what happened as far as how this event changed his life, but seeing him today, 25 years after his sonís death, his sorrow cannot be understood by my own experiences with death, meaning that his sorrow is far greater than anything that I have ever experienced, thus far. When I finally accepted God into my life two years ago, I asked my grandfather if he would attend church with me. He wouldn't look at me due to the pain he had inside, but all he said was that he couldn't go with me. He said that there was just too much pain and death in his life. Him saying that I just turned around and left, and I regret that now, but I just didn't want to cry in front of him. I hated seeing him like that. I knew he carried his son's death all these years, but I had no clue how much pain he really had inside until that day. How can I comfort him when I too have a problem with death as well? I hate talking about death. When some of my closest friendsí father died, all I could do is stay in silence. What was I supposed to say? No one likes it when a loved one dies, but what are you supposed to do? How can you comfort someone without saying the wrong thing or making it worse with the thought? I get all confused when someone dies, especially if it happens to someone I care about or if it happens in the family. I wasn't there when my momís dad died. I wasn't there when my cousin's father died. All I did was stay in my own little world, and I hate myself for it. Why can't I just go up and hug them and cry with them? It would make things so much easier for me and for them. Not everyone likes to talk about death, and I for one am no exception, but releasing the tears and the anger inside is the first step to the healing process.
My next experience with death was probably one of the worst. While my family and I were traveling down to Mexico City one summer, we stopped at a restaurant to fill our bellies. Waiting on our food, my mom stood up and went and called my grandma at our house in Mexico. As I approached her, she had a sorrowful look on her face. She looked at me and said; "Guess who died?" I immediately said; "Mika." Unfortunately my gut feeling was correct, and I fell into tears. Mika was my nanny, practically my third mother, my grandmother being my second. I remember just being totally depressed for the longest time, and guess what? It was the first time in my life I had blasphemed God and the first time I had cursed his name. I think that the death of a loved one is the reason why certain individuals who have experienced a loss, denies God, or even His existence; believing the LIE that death is the end. When a loved one dies, you can either accept the loss and heal with time, patience, and acceptance, or you can dwell on the sorrow and the anger. I dwelled on Mika's death for so long, but I thankfully got over it. Knowing that she is in a better place brings a peace to my mind.
My next experience happened to be my pet iguana. Maybe that sounds gay and all, but it really sucked for me and it really pissed me off. I walked in my room, and there he was, smashed underneath the window. But that wasn't all! That window never fell, it was stuck, so why would it suddenly fall?! My iguana wasn't heavy enough for it to make the window budge or anything (I couldn't even do it!), so I just couldn't understand it. But the thing that really sucked was that he was still alive, but was dying slowly because his insides got crushed, so that's why it pissed me off. I walked in my room, saw that, and started beating the crap out of my knuckles up against my bedroom wall. Talk about bloody knuckles! Man, after that incident, I was a sad little puppy and not to mention a pissed off little puppy.
I'm going to skip around here a little and share my most recent loss, well, not my most recent; adios Spookito. Does anyone recall the name Torgo? If you haven't noticed the name yet, he contributed in my last issue and was also introduced. I received a letter from a last name I recognized, but the first name didn't strike me. I read the letter and the newspaper clipping from their local paper, but didn't realize who it was until reading the letter and clipping for a second time; I totally lost it. The only thing that kept going through my mind was his wife and his children. He had just had another baby and was telling me about it on a previous letter. After a few months went by I finally received the letter from his widow which really put a downer on my faith, habits suck. Why would God "let" this happen?
My sister (Gracias Marissa, I love you!), recently gave me a book called, "If God is God, Then Why?" - Letters from the Oklahoma Bombing, By Al Truesdale and pressed by Beacon Hill Press. This book is about a niece and an uncle who are writing letters back and forth and that are arguing - debating - discussing - their feelings inside about the occurrences that happened at the Oklahoma bombing. The arguments and discussions about Death, God's reasons/ways, and the evil in the world, were pretty intelligible and thought provoking. I suggest that you pick this book up if you like to read -think about life. This book helped me out with Torgo to a degree, but it still had a strong and negative impact in many ways.
This other experience I had, when I think about it now, was an interesting and odd experience, to say the least. I was 21 years old at the time and I was dating this certain individual whom shall remain nameless. We were in my grandparent's back yard and I was in one of my moods, so anything could happen. I was already having a crappy 2-3 weeks, so that didn't help anything either. As I was sitting on her lap, I just started crying out of the blue telling her that I didn't want anybody to die, that I didn't want her to die. I'm not really sure what brought that on, but it was certainly an unusual and emotional experience! The thing is, soon after that occurrence, my life started changing a bit. At this point in time I started letting go and I started "growing up", so to speak, and started picking up on life a bit more. I started thinking about life a bit more (wasn't so self-absorbed), and as you may have read in "Finding Mikey", my life and mind-set definitely changed. Now if I can just help my self and get rid of all my bad habits I would be one happy man!
I really do not have any more stories on this subject (Well, when this was written I didn't, but I do now. Many loved ones have passed since this was written - Mike - 2006), and I hope that nothing happens to anyone I love while I'm completing this issue. I kept thinking to myself while I was writing this, how strange it would be if something should happen to someone close while I'm writing this.
One of my goals in life is to find peace within myself and with my family before I pass away to the next level of life, but in the same breath, some of the negative thoughts that cross my mind once in a great while; "What will happen when the ones I'm closest to die?" Will I accept the loss and move on, or will I "flip out?" I don't know, I just have to accept and realize that death is a part of life and that there is nothing I can do when mistress death comes knocking on my loved ones door.
I do not really fear death as much as I used to, my issues deal with suffering. The loved one who may be suffering and are dying a slow death with cancer, aids, etc., is what I hate/fear, not so much death. I think I have "accepted" death, with the way things are, have been, and will be to come because of God, my faith, and I know that the next life will be better than this hate filled planet. So be it, so it will be done, I will accept, I will live my life! Peace be with you all (and seek it for that matter) and enjoy life while it lasts!