How do you deal with mortality?

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Registered: 10-04-2006
How do you deal with mortality?
19
Mon, 02-23-2009 - 6:20pm

I have been pretty dark lately. I am preocupied with death; specifically I am trying to come to terms with non-existance. I am trying to understand how people cope with this truth in their daily lives. I try to just not think about it, but clearly that is not working.


I know...Debbie Downer here...but how do you cope with it? Is there some secret way to stop feeling like I am being dragged to the grave and oblivion?

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Registered: 06-20-2000
Mon, 02-23-2009 - 7:24pm

ah, good old Seasonal Affective Disorder! Is that maybe what it is? I see you're in BC, and it IS February...or maybe a little post partum-y stuff?
Are you feeling depressed, or is this more an existential issue you're going thru?

I too struggle with the mortality issue, and don't quite know what to do about it. I started a Building your own Theology class last year at this time with the intention of figuring that out, but dh had surgery & we couldn't continue the class. I don't know how to help you, as I'm not sure how to tackle it either.

Hope you get some relief from these bleak feelings - do try & figure out if it's a depression or a spiritual issue, then maybe you can start to figure out how to resolve it.

Keep us updated, I for one would like to help you through this....

(hugs)

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-06-2006
Mon, 02-23-2009 - 8:57pm

Oh yes, I do go through phases like this.
I might agree with the possibility of seasonal affective disorder. For this I would recommend three different things: get into the sun, even inside your home sitting in the sunshine. And a mild antidepressant. There are several that are totally safe to use while you are nursing. My third recommendation, what works for me, read the last paragraph.

Listen, death is a major issue for all humans to come to terms with. Please don't feel weird for posting it as we have all been there, and may be there again. It would be LOVELY to say, "We will live in a beautiful garden forever with a father who loves us after we die." So comforting. Such a warm fuzzy. But to come to terms with non existence? That's truly facing the reality of life. In fact, almost every language has a term that means "existential angst".

So, of course we will have to deal with this one from time to time. And, as you know, you generally feel fine and positive and hopeful and feel like you live a meaningful life. That is why I would suggest the chemical assistance for the short run.

In the meantime, if platitudes help, remember, we all live on in our children, our good deeds, those things that we leave behind. Bottom line: be yourself, live for yourself, be your own person and remember that the control over your own life is ultimately yours, you are complete.
Okay, blowing-sunshine-up-the-a$$ moment over.

One thought, though. Sometimes it helps me to realize that there is an infinite amount of time before I was born where I did not exist. There will be an equally infinite amount of time (is that an oxymoron?! lol) after I die where I will not exist. It forces me to realize to savor each moment. Although this is hard to to on some days.
As an amateur astronomer, moreover, I find myself seeing images of far distant galaxies and considering the possibility of life waaay over there...somehow, although that might seem like it would bring on the angst, it does just the opposite. It, somehow, gives me perspective...like that moment in "Grand Canyon" with Steve Martin and Danny Glover where the young boy sees the Grand Canyon for the first time and his face reflects this amazing sense of sudden perspective. But this might be something to consider another day...

Also, if you are not interacting with many people in a day, if your world has gotten smaller, you are more likely to feel this sense of purposeless, preoccupation with nonexistence. Can you get out more? Bring someone in every so often? Being home alone with two small children, while is SOUNDS like Nirvana, is truly, truly tough. Thinking people need mental stimulation.

Also, I deal with this one every so often. It feels so lonely, like when people speak to you to "help" their words sound SO hollow. When I get there, I know one thing that always helps me. I have to purposefully get outside of my own head. Focus on someONE else, someTHING else, learning something new. Helping someone in some way. Leaving my home to visit a friend and getting into their $hit for awhile. Get out of your own head. Let your feelings take the backseat to something else.

If all else fails, cuddle up with your honeys and read a great book like "Good Night Moon" or "Green Eggs and Ham" or "Love you Forever". You're bound to find some wisdom in that!

I hope some of this means something to you. Please write more soon!

Peace,
Karen




Edited 2/24/2009 12:38 am ET by imshooshy
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-02-2007
Tue, 02-24-2009 - 4:39am
I take comfort in knowing that my presense on earth has changed things in ways that never could have happened without me. Death cannot undo your life's actions.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-27-2006
Tue, 02-24-2009 - 12:26pm

I think about this sometimes and feel the inkling of panic sometimes. I can totally see how people who believe in a higher power can find comfort in "knowing" that there's something more beyond death. And that there's eternal damnation awaiting terrible people like people who kill babies and puppies.

I do try to focus on the here and now and, like PP said, what I do on this earth while I'm alive makes a difference.

I think I started getting more worried about dying when I had kids. It's not so much the "what's out there" that scares me, but what will happen to my kids when I'm gone (if my MIL ends up raising them I'll come back and haunt her! ;)).

So, look more closely into WHY you're feeling this way (PPD? SAD?) and focus on the here and now with your beautiful child. (((hugs)))





I Make Milk
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Registered: 11-07-2007
Tue, 02-24-2009 - 1:59pm

I have that same fear about my MIL raising my children if I die!!

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Registered: 10-04-2006
Wed, 02-25-2009 - 12:45am

Thanks for your thoughts everybody, I really didn't mean to sound so dire.


I do have PPD, I am

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Registered: 03-31-2003
Wed, 02-25-2009 - 12:13pm

Hey, when you feel down, you just answer those thoughts right back. If I get like you on mortality, I remember that Trooper song "We're here for good time, not a long time". Or I'll say that life is only too short if you don't live it right.

For me, one lifetime is enough. I don't really want to live on and on for eternity. Are theists saying that life will continue? So people with autism have to continue on, those with ADD will continue to deal with it (me), those prone to depression or bipolar can continue to deal with it. Everyone has issues and one lifetime is enough.

Just like the birds, the trees and flowers, we get our time on the planet and then we move aside and let others get a chance.


Sandie


Sandie

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Registered: 08-06-2006
Wed, 02-25-2009 - 1:37pm

Listen, I totally understand!
Actually, sorry if MY response made you feel embarrassed! I do tend to go on!

I just wanted you to know that I have been there...and I may go there again.
;-)
Peace,
Karen

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Registered: 10-02-2007
Wed, 02-25-2009 - 3:38pm

I can't speak to all versions of the afterlife, but I've never met a Christian who thought that they'd still have ADHD, etc. Part of what makes the idea of heaven so attractive is they think their physical and mental ailments will go away. The "soul" lives on, which of course gets to be defined as only the good stuff you want living on.

Of course, the downside is people live their lives thinking the best part is yet to come and they miss the chance to make it happen while they're around to enjoy it. I seem to remember a Bon Jovi song that said, "I don't want to live forever; I just want to live while I'm alive."

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Registered: 03-31-2003
Thu, 02-26-2009 - 11:00am

>>I can't speak to all versions of the afterlife, but I've never met a Christian who thought that they'd still have ADHD, etc. Part of what makes the idea of heaven so attractive is they think their physical and mental ailments will go away. The "soul" lives on, which of course gets to be defined as only the good stuff you want living on.

What a bunch of fools they are. The faults we have, physical and mental are what makes us who we are. Sure ADHD is a handicap but it still makes the person very interesting. Same with other "problems".


Sandie


Sandie

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