Grappling with Death

A friend has been dealing with a spate of deaths in her life, and she’s trying to understand the purpose of them. I hope she succeeds. Death is so very hard to deal with, and the worst part is the seeming senselessness of it. I’ve been grappling with the subject for more than two years now, ever since the death of my life mate/soul mate, and I haven’t a clue what the purpose of death is. Well, of course, I understand the purpose on a global scale — the species needs to be constantly revitalized — but on a more personal scale, what is the purpose of these deaths? Of any death?

I know why my life mate had to die — his body was destroyed by an invading army of malignant cells, and he could no longer function — but is there any purpose to his death?

There certainly isn’t any purpose for me. I thought I’d feel free once I no longer had to live under the constraints of his illness, and maybe someday I will feel free, but for now, I’m lonely, sad, angry at times, and miss him always. Perhaps his death is a growth experience for me, but if he hadn’t died, I wouldn’t have needed to grow in this particular direction. And anyway, his death is way to big a price to pay for something so paltry.

Was there a purpose for him other than to be done with his suffering? This leads me to the equally unanswerable question of why he had to suffer in the first place. Who chose for him to suffer? He sure as heck didn’t — he did everything he could to live a healthy life, but pain dogged him all his years. (I’m sorry, but if your belief system suggests that we choose our pain, I don’t want to hear about it.)

Even if there is a purpose to death, one that we are ill equipped to understand, who chooses who gets to live and who has to die (or is it better phrased, “who gets to die and who has to live?”). Is there a moving finger writing our deaths, or is it blind chance? Blind chance doesn’t seem to be any way to run a universe, but what do I know? I don’t even know how to run something as commonplace as a car. I can drive, but making the car run when something goes wrong is beyond me.

Maybe someday my friend and I will be able to understand the purpose of death, but I doubt it, at least not while we are alive. (I just realized — every time I write about some facet of death, I post it under the category of life. I wonder if there is a clue in that.)

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