Sunday, May 1, 2011

Life & Death

As my father's life dwindles between life and death, it really bring in perspective the fears and negative attitudes we have when it comes to dealing with death. I visited him yesterday and the T.V. had some commentators talking about death and the fears we have to deal with it. In the Mexican culture, death is mocked and celebrated during the Dia De Los Muertos (day of the dead) in November. Yet, I don't know if Mexican people in general have a more functional view of death. We recognize it and live with it. Many Mexicans pay respect to their dead throughout the year, by believing they are still around as ghosts. My relatives often address unexplainable events by attributing them to the actions of ghosts. For example, at my grandmother's house, things may be (allegedly) moved, or lights turned-off, and she would tell my grandfather "Ay, Rodolfo, here you are causing havoc again." In a functionalist perspective, this allows her to feel her husband presence as part of her life. The memory doesn't die.
In regards to Life Online, I have learned that we can also deal with death online. I've had the task of making the arrangements for my father's cremation. In the past, this task would probably involve visiting several funerary services and shopping around for the best price and services. Today, I was able to do all this in less than 10 minutes. I found an array of urns, services, and quotes for his cremation online. I can do all the arrangements with the click of a mouse. I think this is better in many respects, not only is it more time efficient, but also it allows me to keep from retelling the situation to strangers and feeling pity for myself (along with distrust for shopping under the emotional pressure).
Death, we should accept, is just another part of life. We go through this journey and as everything else, the journey must conclude, and who know, maybe it will continue somewhere else.

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