Tuesday, April 15, 2008

“In this world,” wrote Benjamin Franklin in a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy, “nothing is certain but death and taxes”. That was in 1789 and there have been a lot of deaths and tax returns since then.

Every minute on earth, 108 people die. Ultimately, everyone dies. It is not a matter of if, but when. Sadly, and due to a wide variety of reasons and circumstances, some seek death, considering it the only solution. Others try to delay the inevitable through good health. Still others tragically lose their lives through time and chance. Sometimes disease or other illnesses bring a death sentence, leaving the person with nothing to do but wait for the end.

Death remains a mystery to me, and as I age I see it happening in more ways... to the very young, to folks who have so much life ahead. I don't understand it, I hate it, I resist it - I've become a trifle bitter about the whole business. I've even begun to contemplate my own end - but not in any great depth. Today, as I underwent a minor medical procedure where they put me out, I was a bit nervous - wondering if I might have a rare mishap and bite the dust. Hospitals make mistakes. My husband died on tax day, 4 years ago. At least he had a sense of humor...

25 comments:

magdalene-sophie said...

i read not too long ago that death is most prominent for a scorpian (zodiac sign of scorpio).. don't really believe in it, and don't know if you're a scorpian :)

oh i'd choose taxes. i'll die when the time comes :P

Anonymous said...

Oh sheeeesh, I'm a Scorpian but don't understand what would make a more "prominent" death, perhaps with a dramatic ending. Okay, I understand - yes think about it a lot whilst drinking multitudes of coffee, chain smoking and doing the taxes.

lime said...

wow, i had no idea about your husband. 2 years ago today is when i demolished my arm. just not a very good day for anyone is it?

RED MOJO said...

One thing's for sure, if I knew I was gonna die, I wouldn't bother bother doing my (&%#^@ taxes!

Dr.John said...

Sometimes I think taxes are more certain than death. But to die on tax day wow! Sorry about your husband.
Tax day is a day of rejoicing for me . It is the day my daughter was born.
Birth, death, and taxes .

tsduff said...

Magdalene-Sophie - I was born under the Sagittarius sign, but am doubtful of its power of life & death :) I chose taxes too.

Anonymous - Sounds like just another day in paradise -coffee, (leaving the chain smoking to the masses) and I've staved off the taxes ... at least for another year.

Lime - I suppose in the grand scheme of things, it is just another day. Funny how we mark events with a date... both the good and bad. I had imagined your zipline incident was many years past instead of so recent. Time does fade our pain.

Red Mojo - *chuckles* I can always count on you Red to lighten things up. And yes, would thumb my nose at the taxes too ;)

Dr. John - Welcome. What a lovely turn about. Birth - the brightest event in the bunch, and reason to celebrate. Thank you for providing a great alternative fork in the road.

Paul said...

Death to me is not something that I fear. It is a natural part of human existence. "For everything there is a season" and death has a season. I think that a lot of people fear it and ultimately each person has to deal with it in his,or her, own way. :-)

jillie said...

Oh my that's terrible!

I too have often wondered how my ending would be. Am I at the middle of my life? Still in the beginning? Or heading towards the end. I feel I have no control over it and try to enjoy each day as it comes.

Tomorrow will be 36 years since my dad passed away. How could it have happened so long ago. It just doesn't seem like it. He too died on the operating table. But he was a VERY sick man. He's in a better place.

XO

Dave said...

I think that maybe we should seriously consider cryogenics until they can figure out how to extend our lives a couple of hundred years.

Death... Inevitible

Taxes... inevitible only to the honest in most cases.

Enjoyed your post. :-)

Take care!

javajazz said...

death...its underrated.

javajazz said...

...and Meg, hopefully the Scorpio Rule
does not apply to sweet Dog...!

javajazz said...

(sorry, that was me and my
slow computer...i got so emotional
about Dog, that i pressed the
send button twice...)

Doug said...

Thanks, JJ. I'm hoping to go struck by a comet, but I'll settle for a mislaid manhole cover.

DEATH, n. The resurrection of a complaint.

Ariel the Thief said...

Only four years ago? I am sorry about it, Terry!

There's a scene in CSI Las Vegas, the bodies of two young people are laying in the dissecting room, and dr. Robbins is asked what they died of. 'I have no idea,', he says, 'those two are perfectly healthy.'

jeff@sally said...

Wahhhh!!!!! Joshua chose the left path. Oh, how I wish he would have chosen taxes! I only got 10 years with him here on Earth.

The hurt and pain are for those of us left behind. For Joshua, he really is on to his greatest adventure. That will be written on his headstone when it is finally done.

Sal

tsduff said...

Paul: - Thank you for your comment. I am not particularly afraid of death - but certainly do not want to hasten its inevitable execution. It is the sorrow and grieving the deaths of others that I dread.

From Jackson Browne's FOR A DANCER "In the end there is one dance you'll do alone"

Jillie - Yes, the years just go by but the smiles we remember, the shared experiences often seem like only yesterday. I no longer pick up the phone and try to call my Mom (it's been 5 years since her passing) but I do wonder how the world has continued on without her in it.

tsduff said...

Dave - Nice to see another new face around here (even without the nice hat) I think you and Austin Powers would get along - cryogenically speaking :)

Lisa - IS death rated? Over or under, I think the playing field is level.

Lisa - Do Dogs have signs? If so, I think he just puts his nose to the ground and ignores it.

JJ - Calm down - Death may or may not be more prominent for Scorpians but Beagles never die, they just keep flying their Sopwith Camels into the sunset.

Doug - Surely stepping into an open manhole isn't your fate. Death and resurrection seem to be frequent sentence mates. And yes - a BIG complaint.

Ariel - Thanks. I do like to watch CSI Las Vegas - and that line must have stolen the show. I'd say they (the couple) were missing that one vital element of health - the breath of life.

tsduff said...

Sal - My sweet baby sister - I know Josh didn't chose either path - he was too busy playing and having fun. Picturing him on his greatest adventure is nice - and it makes me smile through the tears. Love and hugs xo

Cheesemeister said...

My sincere condolences on the loss of your husband.
My grandmother, who was 94, died on the day after Christmas in 2002 and that somehow seems right. She was a devout Catholic and would have wanted it that way.
In some ways I fear death but I do have a level of depression that creates a desire for suicide many more times than I care to admit and one day it may win. People who haven't been through it can't understand and tend to judge harshly. To them I only say until you have walked a mile in my shoes, don't judge me.

SOe said...

It is not so much the dying I´m afraid of. It´s the knowledge that my whole being vanishes. Hopefully, everybody of us has enough people who will remember us. This way, we will never die!

Agnes Mitchell said...

Terry, you and I have got to get in a room one day and just chat over coffee or something. How are we ALWAYS on the same page??
I'm sincerely glad your medical procedure returned you to us. I'm sorry for the anniversary though.

See my top post and go read/watch some Randy Pausch. Forget death. Remember life in every second we have left to remember it. :)

All my love.
Aggie

Jamie Dawn said...

What a sad day for you since it was just four years ago that your hubby died. Death pretty much sucks. I've lost several family members, old and young. Since my hubby has been a minister since we got married 24 years ago, I have attended many funerals. The hardest funerals are those of children.
Death and taxes are both bad things to have to deal with. My faith in God teaches me that when it comes to death, we do not sorrow as those who have no hope.

G said...

Terry, your hubby must have had a sense of humor indeed. I'm sorry, I too didn't realize it was a relatively short time ago that you had lost him.

I know what you mean about thinking about your own death such as you did. Rationally, we know we'll be okay, but what if... Ah well, here we all are so let's enjoy the day!

XOX

tsduff said...

Cheesemeister - I think more than a few of us have harbored thoughts of ending it all at one time in our lives - no matter how fleeting or frequent. We are, after all, only mortal.

SOe - It is a mixed bag when one contemplates the end of life as we know it. No matter what our belief, it is sure that no one has ever come back to tell us what exactly happens to one after death. (Other than the Christian faith Savior Christ)

Aggie - I'm up for that. (Or should I say "down" for that... LOL) It is true we seem to have a lot of commonalities - all the time.

Your apropos use of songs amazes me . The song currently up on your blog came on one time on my birthday years ago - and I remember thinking it was a lousy song to have come on my special day and I turned it off. So there. I spent an hour going over Randy Prasuch's web page... wow.

Hugs my dear - and you know, it might yet happen. (the coffee and chat :)) You never know... and it would be great.

Love, T

Jamie Dawn - thank you for your comment. Death does pretty much suck - well said. Once in a while it is overwhelming, but most of the time I don't dwell on it. I do have hope of some sort.

G - Around this time of year I tend to become maudlin and easily tear up... but it passes. Bernard really did have a sense of humor - it was one of his most endearing qualities, and I always think he had the last laugh - passing as he did on tax day even though it was unplanned and unexpected.

Indeed - here we are. I'm so glad to be alive today. Peace. xoxo

Anonymous said...

In the past it was an HONOR to have to pay taxes...Now only the Honorable pay taxes...I say screw paying taxes,i have no use for firemen,police,roads,sewer systems,,EDUCATION.