After a semester of procrastination I finally interviewed my 75-year-old uncle today as a part of our final project. I found my 2 hour-long interview to be quite insightful, and it got me thinking about when we actually start thinking about death. I’m not specifically talking about our own death, but death in general. Speaking from my own life, I have been thinking about death since I was young. I was always afraid that my dad and mom would die and I would find myself trying to calculate how many years they had left to live. I have always been afraid of losing them. The thought of my own death does not worry me as much as my parents’ death because the latter seems closer to me.
My uncle mentioned that when his parents, older siblings and his wife died there was always an intense amount of sadness and loss that he felt. One thing that did strike me was when he said that after the first few deaths there something of a learning curve for him in learning how to deal with such heavy loss. As time went on and other members of his family began to pass he was more capable of dealing with those losses. I remember telling him I could not even fathom thinking about losing family members, and he told me that as time moves on loved ones will begin to pass and eventually I will learn to find peace with that. Although it is still a disturbing prospect to think about his words did bring some sense of calm and peace to me. As you can tell from my post my family means the most to me, and the thought of life without them is quite difficult for me to think about. I guess that reinforces my part in the death denying culture of America. That being said I am not ashamed of that fact, although I know at some point I will have to come to terms with impending death whether that be mine or my loved ones. I know in the end even through the heartbreak of loss I will be able to survive and be at peace with it.