On death and dying

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An interesting post came up today on Facebook regarding a 16 year old guy living with Aspergers who’s father passed away from cancer. The mother was concerned that when she told her son about his fathers passing the child showed no emotion and replied: “at least he’s not in pain anymore”

As a child my favourite family member was my grandmother. When she passed I was not upset I did not cry. I held her hand and patted people on the back when they passed by her coffin. Many were worried about me claiming that people had better watch out for me, bottling up these feelings was not good. I remember many people pulling me aside and saying “it’s ok to cry”. I didn’t need to do that and nodded supportively.

Being gay I have had 40 of my acquaintances pass away in one year due to AIDS related deaths, suicide and drug overdose. I didn’t attend a single funeral only because I didn’t want to freak out the mourners who would perceive me to be cold and uncaring. I often laugh and tell jokes at funerals.

Death is inevitable for me and in life their is so much suffering. Death is the ending of a friendship and I have never thought that all friendships were to last forever. I believe that friendships happen for a reason we have gifts to give to one another lessons we teach. When we no longer have lessons to give or receive, relationships end. Sometimes that through a death. Death can be a lesson someone has to offer others.

It’s not that people with Aspergers don’t have feelings or that they are abrasive and callous. For me it’s I have to weigh the attachment I have for the person against the amount of suffering that person was experiencing. We all experience suffering and burden. For me who am I to be sad or angry that someone’s suffering has ended?

Aspies think in pictures and systems. Death life birth pre-birth are all a cycle. We see this cycles everywhere we go. Fall winter spring summer. Seed, sprout, flower, fruit. It becomes natural for me. I fail to see an end but part of an expanding system.

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