Are You Afraid to Die?


If this question would be asked, what would be your answer? To be honest about it, my answer varies according to the mood I am in. At times, I would tend to say yes, there are times, I simply do not care.

I am afraid to die because I don’t know the method in which the scythe of death will take me. Will it be painful or painless? I have very little tolerance for pain and this is what I fear the most.

I don’t want to die yet, because I have several things in mind to do –“My Bucket List” of sorts. To give you an idea, here they are:

Publish a book on Inspirational Stories – ongoing – the Publishing house says it would be ready before the month ends.

Write a novel Umma Ayam Sinsana – still on chapter 15 and –writer’s block; but I’ll keep on for sure. I sure congratulate Holly Jahangiri for her Trockle, which has been published.

Publish a compilation of poems (Doc Z, Roy, Elmot, Jan, Luke, Holly, Lyle, Reyjr, Dee, Kelvin , Yatot…Perhaps Ever would like to join too? Everyone is invited)

Publish a bio (maybe of mine or a family member?)

It seems the above-mentioned are all in the “writing genre”. Well I have other plans as well:

To tour the world and document these travels as @thirdworldgeek and Ceblogger usually do; locally at first, and then Europe, Spain, the US, and India. I wish money would fall from heaven for me to be able to do this.

To skydive (wow – I would like to feel how it is to fly, with the fresh air on my face and the wind whipping against my body! )

To record a song (The Will of the Wind, Solitaire to name a few…) I would be contented doing it the privacy of my room. I’m a frustrated singer. (ehem…)

The rest in my bucket list concerns family which are too personal to reveal. If you insist and would like to email me, I might…he he he… (Just kidding.)

And the next thing that comes to mind is how do I like my wake to be?

I want it to be solemn but not sad. I want all my blogging genuine friends to be there. I want my adopted son Sir Arvie – to sing “The Warrior is a Child “and Rey Jr“Stand by me”. This I personally wish it could happen before I die, so I could admire it with both of my mundane and ethereal self.

Of course Doc Z can belt out the song:” Bed of Roses”, he he he… although it is not pertinent to the occasion. It would be refreshing to hear his ululating notes of the song. This dynamic person is a poet, writer and a singer all rolled into one.

Roy could also sing: “Malayo ang tingin”? Ang tanda Na ng kanta…he he he…

Lyle could croon: “Words” for me too, with the permission of his wife, of course. The melody and tune just fits perfectly with his mellifluous voice.

Jan, third world geek, would just sit, listen and enjoy the entertainment, while hopefully where I lay, I would be able to “ listen” in peace.

Then, I want my body cremated and my ashes gathered in a special urn. They could spread my ashes eventually in the mountains where I had previously dreamed my dreams and rejuvenated my soul and being – just like what Eric of Ruminations of a Small Town Mountain Boy usually did/does.

I would permit crying…lol… what is a wake without this expression of loss? Am I too presumptuous to believe people would mourn my loss? Perhaps the world would be a better place to live in without me? But I believe in encouraging my wards instead of terrorizing them so I guess the CC bloggers would not wish me dead even when my back is turned. (Wink) (I know they said hi to Holly.)

But, I would like to emphasize that crying should not take forever. Life goes on, so everyone should move on, I – to whatever awaits me – I hope it’s not the burning furnace. Mea a culpa.

I remember the story of the publican and the Pharisee; the Pharisee being so proud and judgmental of the Publican, proclaiming in his self-righteous way that he is impeccably pure and without sin : “ I am not a sinner , like this Publican beside me” . Little did he know that God had cast him into the fire and had uplifted the Publican to heaven.

No one is perfect, we all have our imperfections, and in our quest for perfection, we should always treat others as we expect to be treated;”The Golden Rule” - the mother of all rules should be our guiding tenet. If we observe this, then we could always have our motivations pure and honest and we usually don’t go wrong.

My tombstone? Let it be written:

Here lies Jen, the dreamer.
Who dreamed big with hopes a-glimmer,
that one day all of her aspirations
Would be fulfilled till her last exhalation.

Where are our poets? (Doc Z, dragonblogger, summerbreeze, elmot, Holly, Luke)

Would this pass?

I know these are meandering thoughts and I rambled away from the topic. Allow me to express them as they have occurred in my mind.

Am I afraid to die? that I prefer to keep you guessing as to what my definite answer would be!


Photo by Tammra McCauley

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39 Comments to "Are You Afraid to Die?"

  1. Holly Jahangiri's Gravatar Holly Jahangiri
    September 6, 2009 - 3:03 pm | Permalink

    What prompted this reflection on mortality, Jen? I hope that you live a long, fulfilling life; may you always have at least one undone thing on your "Bucket List" to keep you going. I wish you would put "US" at the head of your travel plans! And yes, the Clin Chem Bloggers said hello to me! What a way to wake up this morning, to that! They are such a delightful bunch; I hope that if their travels ever bring them this way, they'll look me up and say hi in person.

    I have to give this some thought. It's an interesting topic for a post. The older I get, though, the less inclined I am to dwell on what I want my funeral to be like. LOL!

  2. Dragonblogger's Gravatar Dragonblogger
    September 6, 2009 - 8:46 pm | Permalink

    Having been through many stages of life struggles and having had suicidal thoughts in the past, I am at the point now where whenever my time comes, I am fine with it. However, I know that I would never deliberately choose to end it early, as life is about learning and sometimes people learn through pain. I just have to look at the faces of my kids every day to have reasons to keep on living.

    I care not for funeral at all, would rather be cremated and scattered in the ocean or buried in a garden.

  3. Roy's Gravatar Roy
    September 6, 2009 - 11:23 pm | Permalink

    But, I would like to emphasize that crying should not take forever. Life goes on, so everyone should move on…

    and if I may add, "the world won't stop and wait for us while we cry" and when we're through crying, we might find out we have a lot to catch up ;)

    am I afraid to die? no, I'm not. It's actually a secret wish, but a selfish one definitely. because I really don't think I have prepared everything for my kids… so it can come later ;)

  4. madz's Gravatar madz
    September 7, 2009 - 3:25 am | Permalink

    Wow, you already planned your death. Well, I just wanted to answer your question, IA AM AFRAID TO DIE. Given the chance to have 24-hours left to live, that won't be enough to accomplish everything that I wanted. I still wanted to marry my boyfriend for 8 years, I still wanted to have kids, I still wanted to be a housewife.

  5. Everlito (ever) Villacruz's Gravatar Everlito (ever) Villacruz
    September 7, 2009 - 7:28 am | Permalink

    it comes,

    in any reason only HE knows everything in life..

    honestly for now i'm afraid…

  6. Jena Isle's Gravatar Jena Isle
    September 7, 2009 - 8:43 am | Permalink

    Hi Holly,

    The "idea" has been incubated in my mind for quite sometime. I just didn't have time to write it down.

    Traveling would definitely be there in my "Bucket List" for a very long time. US would be one of the firsts perhaps because of relatives living there.

    Many of them plan to go abroad. They'll surely visit you if they do pass by Texas.

    He he he…don't think about your funeral yet. I was just thinking aloud.

    All the best.

  7. Jena Isle's Gravatar Jena Isle
    September 7, 2009 - 8:46 am | Permalink

    Hi Justin,

    That's a very positive attitude. As they say, "what does not kill you will make you stonger."

    Children do give parents the reason to live, especially if they're still dependent on you.

    My kids are all grown-up and are independent. Well, I still have my grandkids…lol…

  8. Jena Isle's Gravatar Jena Isle
    September 7, 2009 - 8:48 am | Permalink

    Hi Roy,

    I am glad you agree. I hope this secret wish of yours would not be fulfilled- for now. You have three wonderful kids to live for.

    I admire how you act both as mother and father to them. You have done your homework and task so well. It is evident that they love you, especially your little Angel.

    All the best.

  9. Jena Isle's Gravatar Jena Isle
    September 7, 2009 - 8:51 am | Permalink

    Hi Madz,

    Well you have to do it now…he he he…Eight years is long enough, me thinks.

    Kids are wonderful. You should not miss this experience of parenting and nurturing your children.

    And of course, iyong sinasabi na mansanas na walang buto (what they say about the seedless apple)…ooops….censored.

  10. Jena Isle's Gravatar Jena Isle
    September 7, 2009 - 8:56 am | Permalink

    Hi Ever,

    I know why you're afraid, many are drawing their strength from you.

    Good luck with your future endeavours.

  11. Jena Isle's Gravatar Jena Isle
    September 7, 2009 - 8:59 am | Permalink

    Ever,

    BTW, have you read my invitation for you to join the poetry book?

  12. Gopal Shukla's Gravatar Gopal Shukla
    September 7, 2009 - 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Dear Jen,

    There is only thing that is certain in this uncertain world. That certain thing is nothing but death.

    People always ask the questions about situations which are uncertain.

    Perhaps, you may not agree but the fact is that this question is not relevant.

    On the other hand, death keeps coming in the form of accidents, natural calamities, illness and so on and so forth.

    This so called developed human entity would, perhaps, never be able to find an answer that why and how this death takes place at different places, in different manners, for different people.

    The hard reality is that everyone is afraid to die. No one wants to die barring few exceptions.

    We all want to live repeat live for ever. Fortunately/unfortunately, it is not possible as the world is mortal.

    Do you find some contradiction in my answer to your questions?

    You are correct, life is full of contradictions.

    To be precise, this contradiction creates a confusion in the minds and that confusion is : Are we really afraid to die ?

    Let everyone keep guessing.

    Wish you all the best.

    Keep writing.

    Gopal Shukla

  13. Holly Jahangiri's Gravatar Holly Jahangiri
    September 7, 2009 - 8:16 pm | Permalink

    Gopal, the question is not "irrelevant." There is something between fear and rushing headlong into Death's embrace. Sure, our ANSWER to the question is irrelevant in terms of whether we get a choice in the matter or not, but it is not irrelevant in terms of our outlook on life, the risks we're willing to take, how much we enjoy (or worry about) each day, etc. Our attitudes towards Death determine, in part, how we live. That's very relevant.

  14. Jena Isle's Gravatar Jena Isle
    September 7, 2009 - 9:17 pm | Permalink

    Hi Krish,

    Belated Happy Birthday. We celebrated your birthday last September 5, lols. You must see our pics – me and my blogger friends. Those whom you have voted to the Top 10 Emerging Influential Bloggers -Dr. Zorlone, Jan and Roy. Thanks for that.

    I am sure your sentiments are valid. You're a person who perceive things sometimes differently from what I see.

    The question is relevant to me, to Holly and to many of us because we do view it as something important.

    Knowing we are mortal makes us strive for more and do our best because of the knowledge that we can't stay on forever to be able do this.

    I know that you say this because you have so much faith in Him. I remember you saying: I can't move my hand an inch without His permission, and I agree with you, but I also add that, we have to express our wishes by doing all the best we can, granting the circumstances.

    This is too profound for me. I just blog to relax…he he he….so I won't present more "arguments".

    I know you know what I mean. Take good care of yourself. All the best and Happy Birthday once again. May you have more to come.

  15. Jena Isle's Gravatar Jena Isle
    September 7, 2009 - 9:23 pm | Permalink

    Hi Holly,

    I like this line:

    "Our attitudes towards Death determine, in part, how we live. That's very relevant."

    Touche'! It's like a poem I have read somewhere where the poet does not give in to death, but fights it to the very end.

    We must accept death as a fact of life but we must also battle him in every way we can. These are all relevant things to us.

    Now, why are we discussing death? he he he…"Let's eat and be merry – for tomorrow we'll die." –

    0oops – delete- we went back to "death" again.

    Next topic should be something about "life".

    Thanks my friend for commenting again. I do appreciate it a lot.

    God bless you!

  16. jan geronimo's Gravatar jan geronimo
    September 8, 2009 - 12:07 pm | Permalink

    I certainly will ask Death to sign up for Twitter and have some fun there, while I take my own sweet time updating my blog. Or by that time – blogs (an empire like Roy's?).

    Retirement used to be scary. What shall I do? If I were an Englishman I'd be straining at the leash to do gardening. But I'm not. Good that I discovered blogging.

    So it will be more of the same for me when I retire. Full time blogging! And tweeting if it's still there by that time.

    It's said – all is vain and vexation of the spirit. It's too vain to even aspire to live longer when you're already due to move on.

    My wish is that I die in my old age. With my blogging hands untouched by arthritis, and my eyes spared by cataracts or poor vision. I want it all, I guess.

    And I'm taking along a big container. A bucket will simply not cut it. lols

  17. zorlone's Gravatar zorlone
    September 9, 2009 - 5:26 am | Permalink

    Seeing death in the face of my patients back when I was training until now must have probably made me immune to the thought of dying.

    If the time comes, it will come and a terrific fight to the end will always end with the loss of life… ours.

    I think I am still making my bucket list. It's going to be a long one. So, good lick with accomplishing each and everyone of them.

    Like the rest of the people here, I am glad that you showed me this — passion. Writing. Our lives may have been mortal, but what we wrote even in cyberspace shall remain immortal. (I always say that whenever I have the chance)

    We are who we are in our words and we live up the life of who we believe this destiny has brought us. Learning through others as other learn from us. We leave behind a legacy.

    Cheers to death!

    Z

  18. Jena Isle's Gravatar Jena Isle
    September 9, 2009 - 7:34 am | Permalink

    Hi Jan,

    That would be cool if you could tell death to wait for a while while you update your posts…he he he…

    Perhaps he would like to play cards while waiting?

    If I die I want you be there – my blogging buddies – one of the best groups I ever encountered in my life.

    Perhaps kakanta ka na ano? (You'll be singing for me then?)

  19. Jena Isle's Gravatar Jena Isle
    September 9, 2009 - 7:39 am | Permalink

    Hi Doc Z,

    Staying emotionally unattached to your patients must be challenging ordeal for you. Because if you don't then you'll suffer every time someone dies.

    You could not eschew this however as you're only human. This would make you care more for your patients and treat them more humanely, not just insignificant numbers in your chart.

    I'm happy too you have re-discovered the joy of writing through blogging.

    Now you know that I want you all to be there when I go…he he he..

    All the best.

  20. Kelvin Servigon's Gravatar Kelvin Servigon
    September 9, 2009 - 8:04 am | Permalink

    No one can predict when he will die. And to answer your question, yeah, I'm really afraid to die. Just like you, Ate Jena, I have bunch of things that I want to do in this wonderful world. :)

  21. reyjr's Gravatar reyjr
    September 9, 2009 - 8:26 am | Permalink

    I remember starting to answer this and then getting cut off – hmm.. it was probably an unstable net connection. Bleh.

    my answer is:
    I don't think I'm afraid per se – but I feel I am not ready to die. I feel I haven't done what I need to do yet – whatever that is. :p hehe.

  22. TrinaMb's Gravatar TrinaMb
    September 10, 2009 - 2:51 pm | Permalink

    A little late to the reflection once again, but would like to add I believe it is healthy to lay out end of life plans. To answer your Q is complex, I would say not afraid to die, but scared of it occuring too soon in the lives of my children. I do not want them to go through the death of either parent until they have grown up enough to say 'I will miss you, but I'm OK'. At their young age now, there will be too many missed moments. Glad you put the topic up for discussion.

  23. Dr. Lauren's Gravatar Dr. Lauren
    September 11, 2009 - 1:47 am | Permalink

    I think when it's time, it's time. I'd rather not know about it because your fate can not be changed.

  24. Holly Jahangiri's Gravatar Holly Jahangiri
    September 11, 2009 - 4:27 am | Permalink
  25. jan geronimo's Gravatar jan geronimo
    September 12, 2009 - 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Jen: I think Doc Z, Lyle and Bonnie – even Roy if I sing a lively song at your wake. Perhaps you'd not be offended if I sing "Nobody but you?"

    Doc Z: Very profound comments, Lo. I'm starstruck. :)

  26. Jena Isle's Gravatar Jena Isle
    September 12, 2009 - 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Hi Kelvin,

    You still have lots of things to do indeed, so I wish you all the best in all your endeavours. Good luck and here's to a long life ahead of you.

  27. Jena Isle's Gravatar Jena Isle
    September 12, 2009 - 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Hello ReyJr,

    I know there are still countless plans in your agenda, like sing for other people and let them appreciate your voice. and yes, sing for me…lol…

  28. Jena Isle's Gravatar Jena Isle
    September 12, 2009 - 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Hi TrinaMB,

    I like what you said:

    "I do not want them to go through the death of either parent until they have grown up enough to say 'I will miss you, but I'm OK'."

    Of course, you have very important reasons to still be here and this one of them. All the best.

  29. Jena Isle's Gravatar Jena Isle
    September 12, 2009 - 5:09 pm | Permalink

    Hi TrinaMB,

    I like what you said:

    "I do not want them to go through the death of either parent until they have grown up enough to say 'I will miss you, but I'm OK'."

    Of course, you have very important reasons to still be here and this one of them. All the best.

  30. Jena Isle's Gravatar Jena Isle
    September 12, 2009 - 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Hi Dr. Lauren,

    I think similarly. When it is time, it's time. Cheers.

  31. Holly Jahangiri's Gravatar Holly Jahangiri
    September 12, 2009 - 5:10 pm | Permalink

    TrinaMB, my mother died in 2002. I was almost 40. Let me suggest to you that you should probably strive to live until your youngest is, oh, 60-something? We're never really ready to lose a parent, not if the relationship was a good one.

  32. Jena Isle's Gravatar Jena Isle
    September 12, 2009 - 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Hi Holly,

    Thanks for the award. Cheers.

  33. Jena Isle's Gravatar Jena Isle
    September 12, 2009 - 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Hello Jan,

    Of course you can sing any song you want, as long as you're there…lol…baka sumayaw pa ako sa loob…he he he. ( I might be tempted to dance.)

  34. TrinaMb's Gravatar TrinaMb
    September 13, 2009 - 9:31 pm | Permalink

    Hi Holly
    No one is ever ready to loose a parent, I agree. I am not even sure striving to be alive until they're 60 is the answer, but I do know that to die before they're adults is definitely too soon for them and me :-) I hope the passage of time has softened your loss, and favoured you with the best memories.

  35. Holly Jahangiri's Gravatar Holly Jahangiri
    September 14, 2009 - 12:02 am | Permalink

    It has, Trina, thank you. I'm fortunate that there were no loose ends or regrets, and that things like "I love you" had never gone unsaid.

  36. Jena Isle's Gravatar Jena Isle
    September 15, 2009 - 12:09 am | Permalink

    Hi TrinaMB,

    Your obervation goes with me too. Sometimes we say, we are brave enough to accept this, but when the time comes, we usually fold in.

    Best regards.

  37. Jena Isle's Gravatar Jena Isle
    September 15, 2009 - 12:10 am | Permalink

    Hi Holly,

    I'm glad of that. That's why on my part, I always say the word, when I feel it because I might not have another chance to say it again.

    All the best.

  38. Jhong Medina's Gravatar Jhong Medina
    September 28, 2009 - 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Hi Jena,

    I guess I am afraid too. But not for myself… Its for my children. I feel I'm ready to die, the questions is … Are my family ready?

    At a young age I've been into situation or I've experienced several death in the family. The hospital ER scene… I guess it's normal to me. But I hate it, it's not fear but hatred. I hate the smell I hate the environment. But I'm not afraid to die. I believe, death it's a normal process of every living things to maintain balance. Nevertheless we need to be prepare for our children and family.

    Sorry, Jena got carried away.
    You have an interesting post.

    God Bless! I believe your a good mother, God will grant you all your "Bucket List" and give you more years to celebrate it with your family.

  39. Jena Isle's Gravatar Jena Isle
    September 29, 2009 - 11:34 am | Permalink

    Hi Jhong,

    Thanks. I hope too I would be able fulfill my Bucket List. My fear too is for my family.

    So many things to do and so little time. All the best.

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