They say you die twice.

“I mean, they say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on when someone says your name for the last time.” -Banksy

I’ve been in and out of hospitals throughout my life, working, volunteering and visiting loved ones. Death is something that we all face in our lives; our own deaths, the death of a stranger, a loved one, a famous person. When we study and examine death we come face to face with morality and it gives us some perspective on our lives and others. There have been many patients and families that I’ll always remember for how they grieved and how they died. I’ve been very lucky to have the experiences that I do.

The quote that I put at the top of this blog is something that’s always stuck with me. It is important to remember our mortality but it is equally important to remember to live our lives so well that we have an impact on the world and those around us.

In this class we covered grieving, bereavement, suicides, traumatic deaths and many topics in between. One of the biggest things I took from this class aside from the knowledge on powerpoints is a better understanding of a key part of peoples lives. I feel that I have had a wonderful opportunity to learn from my classmates and their beliefs on such a taboo topic.

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5 thoughts on “They say you die twice.

  1. The quote on your page truly made my heart skip. When we hear those words “your ___ died”, a part of you drifts away. I am unsure about what the next step is when I hear that last breath escape of another one lips and then comes reality, you are the last one to have been there lingering at death’s bedside.

    The journey I am on now, I have only experienced what death brings on after, but I have never been present to when death is knocking on your door awaiting an answer. In the career I want to pursue I will know death and love clasp hand and hand everyday, I will grow to live with those who fear it coming and have to let go of a loved one. I am pursuing a field which works with children and cancer, and I fear the day when I am the last one to hear the words of “good bye, I love you, or I’m sorry”.

    However, death comes and it does not prepare us no mater what diagnose you have, how old you are, or what day of the week it happens to be. What you said in regards to making a positive impact on the world is essential. We learned yesterday that in Buddhism we must reach Nirvana, and in Hinduism I learned that when you have created a world that you have done all the good in your heart, you soul is carried on to “moksha” the paradise of heaven where there is no more reincarnation.

    Our lives are a constant stream that travels through many vessels of life and it flourishes when is sustains and reaches another path. Our life is similar in the sense we do not stay consistent to one location or stationary to an individual. We branch out in life, we essentially travel through the people we meet and the stories we create. To hear the experiences you have lived is beautiful, and I hope the day my name is uttered it would be in good reflections filled with love and appreciation.

  2. This quote does have a lot of validity behind it. How I perceive it is that when a person passes on the first time, people are there to mourn and grieve for that person. However, after the grieving is finished, people can be afraid to even think about the person that passed, because, as we discussed in the beginning of the semester, we are a death denying culture. People can be afraid to reopen old wounds that are associated with that lose. Making a difference in someone’s life or leaving something behind that was worth dedicating a person’s life to or even giving their life for, gives that person the ability to be remembered, thereby living forever in the hearts of the people whose lives were changed by that individual.

  3. I like what you mentioned about death being a taboo subject. We know from class that we are a death denying culture. I wasn’t so sure about taking this class because of that reason. It’s never comfortable to face death, but as you mentioned it’s something that we all will face. It’s unfortunate that death is so taboo that people don’t want to learn about it. The real issue is that ignorance breeds fear. I am thankful for classes like this because I believe education is so important. I also like that quote, it helps remind me that we are not just on this earth to die, but we can have an impact on people’s lives.

  4. One thing that I can say that I learned from this class is the fact that life moves on whether you are ready for it or not. A quote that has stuck with me from this class is from the movie Wit,
    “You cannot imagine…how time can be so still.
    It hangs.
    It weighs.
    And yet there is so little of it.
    It goes so slowly.
    And yet it is so scarce”
    It is true, we dwell in acceptance and avoiding the inevitable. Sometimes change and confronting the passing of time is inconceivable. Dealing with death is more than just the loss of a person, it can also be dealing with the loss of time and how we should live our lives.

    No matter what, death is part of life; we cannot escape it, we cannot avoid it, and we certainly cannot deny it. I think about it in a way that death is the very reason for living. I know that I would not have learned the importance to be be happy with what I am given and to live my life before taking this class. I have realized that time really can slip away from you, I remember being a child and thinking that adulthood was forever away and now I am already in college.

  5. Your quote really hit home with me. Ive always thought about that but seeing it written down is a lot worse than it really is. My biggest fear is forgetting a loved one after they have passed, their sent , voice and most of all the comfort i received from then. I lost my grandmother right before puberty and in my culture and family, children were not involved in funerals or weddings. But this was a little different being the only female in my family the responsibility of washing her body and preparation for burial fell upon me. This made me view death in a different perspective, the feelings i was going through i had thought would never end , and when they finally did i began to fret that i would forget her. This class has definitely taught me a lot and listening to different stories actually comforted a lot of uneasy feelings i had towards death.

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