I’m inspired to put some thoughts down by a video Katey Flowers posted on YouTube of her year with the “Death” card from the Tarot, and her musings on aging and life and death. I decided to post this here rather than on my Tarot blog because this isn’t necessarily a Tarot post (maybe I’ll cross-post it).
I’m at the age where I spend a great deal of time thinking about death (a great deal) and how much closer I am to my own end than to my beginning. I have far more days behind me than ahead of me. I’ve started planning out what sort of instructions I want to leave for my heirs, make sure they have access to all my accounts, both online and offline. I think about how much crap I have that I need to get rid of to spare my kids having to clean it all out. I think about people I’ve lost so often. I can’t count the number of times I’ve wished my dad was still alive to see some new technology (he was an electronics engineer) or a movie or show I think he would have liked. He died when he wasn’t much older than I am now.
Of course everyone dies, it’s not that I expected to live forever. I don’t actually think about how I might die, that’s not the part that concerns me. It’s the idea of winking out of existence, passing into oblivion, that disturbs me because I have no belief in an afterlife. This is it, here and now. Please spare me any platitudes about the inevitability of dying and accepting with grace. Maybe the day will come when I can, but not now. Right now I feel no more ready to accept that than a teenager. Intellectually I am perfectly aware that the day will come, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. I’ve lost both of my parents, all my aunts and uncles, a cousin, friends so it’s not like I’ve never experienced losing someone. I know it happens, but that doesn’t change my frustration.
Part of my raging against death may stem from the feeling that I haven’t accomplished anything with my life, that I will never feel done, ready to die. There are so many things I would have liked to have been and done and learned in this life that I will never have the chance for. Maybe that’s why I’m so fascinated with Tarot. I look to the cards for a deeper understanding of the nature of existence, some reason to believe this isn’t all there is. How can we live, exist, breathe, think, be self-aware, and not be able to somehow do something about the terminal nature of life? It seems cruel for the universe to give us the capacity to understand we will cease to exist, doesn’t it? And yes, I understand the contradiction embodied in the idea of seeking a spiritual understanding if I don’t have any belief in an afterlife.
I know I’m not alone in this dread, and that it’s why some people cling to religion, or a belief in ghosts. We’re hoping to find some proof of something beyond this world, that physical death is not really the end. I’ve had unexplained occurrences that seemed ghostly, but they’re not definitive proof. Not yet. I need more.
I guess for now I will continue to search. I’ll let you know if I find enlightenment, or at least acceptance.
I did feel compelled to pull a card from the Druid Plant Oracle, and interestingly got the Celtic Bean, which is associated with death, reincarnation, the ancestors, and the Otherworld. A message?