Sunset over the Tualatin valley from Council Crest Park

I am thinking today about death.

Published 2016-01-11

I am thinking this week about death. We’ve had a lot of death in and near my family the past few years.

When my father was in hospice the nurse told us (and him) “a dying person chooses when to die.”

We know so little about death in our culture. Not the mumbo-jumbo heaven-and-souls stuff but how a body continues, and how it ceases.

We don't know how to celebrate a death. We have rebranded our funerals “celebrations of life.” (Before that they were “going to Heaven” which might not be any better.) But even as we die we have will, and we have energy…until we have neither. We get to do Last Things, and the things get smaller until they are nothing. I never thought of that before. We don't even recognize that this is a thing that happens.

When I listened to Bowie’s final album last week I thought it was Pretty Good. I recognize now that it was his dying gift to the world.

Addendum 2016-01-13

I’m having a hard time holding it all together this week. I think Bowie’s death unjammed something I’ve been holding for a year or more. Today my music mix rotated through “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea” and I just fucking lost it.

Can’t believe how strange it is to be anything at all