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The Worst Thing About Being 84 Years Old


Racing through my mind are a jumble of thoughts about death, family, alcoholism, responsibility, enabling, detachment, etc.  I had better write about before it becomes polluting.  It feels like more than one post will be required here.  So i will start with death.

My phone woke me this morning; it was my son calling to tell me that his friend and companion died yesterday.  My son (a non-recovering alcoholic) was almost drunk and his speech was more slurred than i have heard in several years.  Since his was given the right to live in the house of a relative, the shelter of my son and four(?) other people is now at risk.

The friend (i knew only his first name which was the same as mine) had become someone i knew, loved, and liked over the past seven or eight years.  We had a lively discussion about things philosophical, spiritual, and religious where we had a common interest and a few shared beliefs.  Then he had a stroke from which he was recovering slowly if at all.  Our conversations became much slower and less detail with him writing comments on a large pad of paper.  My son, i think, had become his caretaker.   So he has lost his friend and also, possibly, his shelter.

I want to  write more, but i can't right now.  So thanks for readding.

Just a little more ,,, during our conversation which jumped (surprisingly adeptly) back and forth across several themes, he made oblique references to death and the after(or not)life.  He said we are just stardust.  I am pretty sure this came from a Catholic high school science class, so it doesn't say anything about our future state.  He thinks we return to dust, or compost, or atomic and suh atomic particles,  I have no words to argue, or even discuss this with him.  I only know that heavens which can be talked about are not the Eternal Heaven and that what we encounter (if anything) will be a surprise.

My heart (nobody ever thought his way into heaven) tells me it will be a pleasant surprise.  I do not know why or how there is something rather than nothing.  I do not know how or why something became inorganic and then organic.  I do not know why or how organic life attained consciouisness.  I do not know how or why consciousness became "self consciousness.*  And i certainly do not and cannot know what happens to self consciousness after death.

Love, happiness, peace, acceptance.

* My thanks to Parker Palmer (To Know as We are Known) for reminding me of these four mysteries.
It just occurred to me that the story of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is a story about the rise of self consciousness.  "Who told you you were naked,' asked God.  The woman and the man had no answer worth recording.  They might have said, "We told ourselves" or "We just knew."

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
pondhopper
Aug. 6th, 2018 10:12 pm (UTC)
I am sorry about your son's loss and his continuing problems with alcohol. It must be hard at times to witness that...
heaven or an afterlife is a subject I struggle with.
bobby1933
Aug. 6th, 2018 10:41 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Donna

Dealing with an alcoholic loved one can be much easier if i have what i consider the "right" attitude. My son began showing signs of being an alcoholic at 13 but i was able to ignore them. When he was 22 he was in treatment center and Dianne and i were invited to join the 12 Step program Al Anon. I didn't do it. (Big mistake!) About six years later through some fluke (aka miracle) I did join and discovered how i handle my part of the problem regardless of what he or anyone else. It took almost forty more years (i am a very slow learner where it comes to human relationships) but finally i became totally at ease with him living his life according to his own plan rather than mine. If you have any friend who is troubled by someone else's heavy drinking, i strongly suggest that they be referred to Al Anon. I'm sure there must be groups in Seville,

Although i tell myself that the after life is an unanswerable question which should not concern me, i don't believe myself and i struggle also.
everville340
Aug. 6th, 2018 10:13 pm (UTC)
I am sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your thoughts during this unexpectedly difficult experience.
bobby1933
Aug. 6th, 2018 10:43 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Micheal.

I appreciate that you read my stuff and find some value in it.
elainegrey
Aug. 7th, 2018 12:34 pm (UTC)
Will hold your son in the Light. Is he in Idaho as well?
bobby1933
Aug. 7th, 2018 06:35 pm (UTC)
Thank you.

Yes, my son has lived in Idaho for 60 years, never more than 150 miles from where i lived, now about 8 miles down the road.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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