Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The mystery of life

Of all of life's mysteries, for me, the greatest is its end. We kind of know how life begins with conception and birth. We even have some control over it. Death however is more mysterious. An illness that takes one life will spare another. Accidents happen almost seemingly by fluke and someone we know or love is gone. It's a mystery.

The greatest of the mysteries is when death takes a friend or close relative. How can someone who has always been there suddenly be gone? How can the earth go on when life was ended for them? The loss never totally leaves when it's been someone really close. The sadness might go, but the place that person held in our heart is still there and always will be.

My somewhat fatalistic musing is triggered by going to one of my regular blog reads, Winston's Nobody Asked, and learning he had died suddenly this week-end. He will be missed as he was a good person, caring, and he wrote an interesting blog about life. Selfishly, even more than that, I will miss his occasional emails and comments here as he always had good insights. I am going to write more words but will never again see his name pop up. Damn.

When I read his wife's words about his death, I felt so much shock that I had to go back and reread it. How could it be? Was this tongue in cheek? Winston was good at satire writing. He had seemed a bit fatalistic in his last posts; so was this more of that kind of thinking? No, it was for real. He had died and it still doesn't seem real. Summer isn't supposed to be about death. It's about life and full of blooms. Except it isn't always.

The older we get, the more we will have those close to us who have died. On my father's side of the family, I am the oldest, blood-related one left. It makes a person think when so many have gone over. Yes, think, but it doesn't give answers.

Most of us work out some feelings about what we believe comes after death from nothing to pearly gates to rebirth. We can't know for sure though as anyone who saw the white light and is talking about it is still here. Some who have a near death experience have seen the other side or so they believe but much of that can be duplicated by stimulating a certain part of the brain. That doesn't mean their seeing wasn't real as perhaps our brains carry with them memories we can't normally access.

Death is a mystery that despite some, who claim answers, we will have to speculate about until it is our turn as it was Winston's this week-end.

For us, who live on, even if there is a heaven or spirits roaming around us or reincarnation, we still have lost that one who we knew, with whom we lived. They will never be with us again in that flesh, that person with that name, their smile, their touch, their words. Even if we believe in the survival of the spirit, it is still a terrible loss of that physical being here and now. For me, death is beyond understanding on the deepest level even if I have learned through the years that I must accept it.

Winston was a good guy, and he will be missed by many in his real life and many others in the internet world. June was a good month, but it ended on a sad note.

(The photo at the top is of New Grange Triple Spiral, something my son and daughter-in-law brought me from Ireland. I keep it by my computer as I not only like its beauty but what it represents. It is a symbol of three, man/woman/child and birth/love/death.

The bowl behind is a singing bowl. When the mallet is circled around the top, the bowl will begin to vibrate making a unique, melodic humming sound, almost a magical, heavenly sound, each unique to the type of bowl being used. There is a bit of a gift to it. Don't hold it tight or it stifles the vibration, keep the motion constant and let the sound soak in. Some users can really make their bowls sing-- a bit like life.)


Joy Des Jardins said...

This is a beautiful post Rain. Death has always been a mystery to me...and yet I have had to face it so many times in my life...so personally touching me. My father dying in my 21-year-old arms. My husband and my mother just 2-3 years ago. And of course special friends along the way that have left their little place in my heart. Honestly Rain, I still half expect to see a comment from Winston here...just as usual. We sure will miss him, won't we? Thank you for this post sweet friend... ~Joy

Ingineer66 said...

I went to Winston's blog yesterday and was shocked to see that he had passed suddenly. It really made me think about my own mortality.

Suzann said...

Oh so much loss these days - thank you so much for a beautiful post. Life is so mysterious and beautiful. One moment we are here - poof - we are gone. Winston, a man who will not be forgotten. Peace. Suzann

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Very Shocking, and terribly sad. I wasn't familiar with Winston, but went over to his blog through your link....I am sad that I did not get to know him through blogging. I love what you wrote about death, Rain....It is THE Great Mystery, isn't it?
And at my stage of life...more and more people are leavung us....Though I must say, the 80's and early 90's were quite shocking with ALL the people I knew who died of AUDS Related illnesses....Young people; Unexpected people---though it is never expected even when it is...!
My dear friend who died just about 6 weeks ago....it is still very raw. And one never really gets used to these losses. Never.
My dearest friend-soul-mate, died 23 years ago, and I think of him every day, and miss him still.
Winston certainly made his mark while here on this earth and as you said, he will stay with you and all those who knew and loved him. Still, a very shocking loss, none-the-less. My heart goes out to you and to all who loved him.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

My finger slipped...That should read "AIDS". Sorry about that.

Barbara said...

I am so sorry for the loss of your friend. Your eloquent words spoke to me tonight. Earlier this evening I read of the death of the father of a child in my daughter's first grade class. My heart broke. Though I believe there is something more than this earthly life I struggle with the many losses I have experienced. The sadness may go but for me there is always a yearning, especially for those held close to my heart. Sometimes they visit me in my dreams. For that I am thankful.


Parapluie said...

I like your beautiful words and the accompanyment of the singing bowl and triple spiral. Lovely tribute to Winston!

Mary Lou said...

I did not read him...but I am sure he was good. I hate to go to a site and find that they have died. It was like Cold water in my face when Maya's Granny died!!

I promise I will give warning when I go....I hope.

Pagan Sphinx said...

I read Winston's blog regularly but not for very long. Perhaps over a dozen posts, as he did not post everyday, I became enamored to his casual, easy, humorous writing style.

When I went to the blog yesterday, my birthday, I too was shocked. I too thought perhaps it was an ironic post but when I could not wrap my head around it, I had to reread it and it hit me that this man, whose words were encompassed in this blog, would write no more. He was gone.

It's ironic that only days ago I posted a favorite song by Iris Dement - Let The Mystery Be.

"Everybody's wonderin' what and where they all came from.
Everybody's worryin' 'bout where they're gonna go when the whole thing's done.
But no one knows for certain and so it's all the same to me.
I think I'll just let the mystery be."

Please go over to my blog and have a listen, if you care to. And thanks for a really caring post. I know it sounds cliche but I think Winston would have liked it.

joared said...

Lovely thoughts, Rain. I was startled to read here of Winston's death. Just before coming here I was thinking how long overdue I was to add some new blogs to my blogroll and his was one. I certainly have enjoyed his comments on my blog and others, plus reading his posts.

Anonymous said...

Wow...this really was quite shocking. Although I didn't visit his blog, I remember seeing his comments here so much.
Such a shame and the post by his wife on his blog was heartwrenching. I'm sorry for the loss of your blog friend. You did a beautiful tribute to him.