The Final Sunset
Sgt. O'Neill - "Bob I got a bad feeling on this one all right? I mean I got a bad feeling! I don't think I'm gonna make it out of here! D'ya understand what I'm saying to you?"
Staff Sgt. Barnes - "Everybody gotta die sometime Red." A scene from the 1986 Academy Award Winner for Best Picture Movie "Platoon."
Sadly, Staff Sgt. Barnes' statement "everybody gotta die sometime Red" is ultimately correct and factual, without a doubt, reality. Not being a religious individual (I'm basically an agnostic) I do believe the day each one of us is born we are designated with a number and when our digit is announced, by whoever or whatever, our time has expired. Some people's visits are short while others may be very lengthy in time. Dismally, the 1967 Chambers Brothers song titled "Time Has Come Today" encourages my belief.
Living and dying, or birth and death, is referred to as the circle of life. We can also allude to the term lifecycle as Nathan East's recording in his smooth jazz song, "Lifecycle." The circle of life just doesn't involve humans, but also countless animals and insects...some animals live to be 200 years old.
So what happens when our lives are finally terminated...is there a heaven and hell or are we transported to another universe and still keep our same bodies and personalities or maybe we're reincarnated? Maybe some of us become angels and the evil scumbags are sentenced to a life of pain and misery or maybe we proceed into a deep and heavy sleep, never to wake up again...unfortunately no one has returned from their death trip to enlighten us about their journey.
Regrettably, all of us have undergone the misfortune of knowing someone who passed away. It could've been a loved one, friend, acquaintance or fellow co-worker or maybe all of the above. It has always mystified me why children, teenagers and young adults have their lives cut short and meanwhile a significant amount of rapists, pedophiles, murderers and violent criminals live to have prolonged and sometimes healthy lives...living the term, "the life of Riley"...IT JUST DOESN'Y MAKE SENSE!
Don't get me wrong, it's also very tragic when "older" people encounter their eternal rest, especially our parents. It's heart rendering to watch someone (especially a loved one) lay in a hospital gurney and waste away to skin and bones before they die. Or is it easier the way I found my mother (R.I.P. and God rest your soul) laying on her apartment living room floor with dried purple blood on the side of her mouth...she was dead and the second I saw her I cried like a new born baby. Obviously neither scenario is less heart breaking than the other, both are harrowing experiences and truly emotionally painful.
Which brings me to what inspired me to write this "rant." My 94 year old good friend and neighbour's wife passed away in late March of 2017...she was also 94 years old. She was a lovely lady, joyful, always pleasant, sparkling and happy go lucky. They were married for 68 years. Her death brought tears to my eyes more than once. Some people may say well, she was ninety four and lived a good life. Fair enough, I agree, but it still doesn't justify her death, and her husband has lost his soul mate, and is suffering gut wrenching sadness. The smooth jazz song by Jonathon Fritzen titled "Turn Back Time" is very suitable for him. A few days after her death, I watched my friend walk home after retrieving his mail at the end of the street. He was looking at young children playing...I can only imagine what was going through his mind.
Certain people can perform certain jobs. Not everyone has the capability of becoming a doctor, lawyer or scientist. However most folks make their own decisions on what occupation they plan to pursue. One career I had absolutely no yearning for whatsoever was to work in a funeral home...it's too eerie. Day in and day out employees are surrounded with sadness, sorrow, gloom and worst of all, death. That type of work environment is too depressing for my liking...I just couldn't do it. On the flip side, hats off to the staff who partake in that profession.
As I stated in one of my earlier rants, back in the 1990's I had a job where one of my duties consisted of registering death certificates. Funeral home representatives would give me their official document. It included information such as the deceased's name and age, place and cause of death and coroner's signature. In return I would sign and date a small card and a piece of paper and hand it to the employee...it would verify the death was legally registered. I recorded numerous deaths, young and old and from all walks of life. Putting it mildly...I hated it.
I enjoyed the sitcom M.A.S.H. 1972-1983. I relish the older episodes with "Lt. Colonel Henry Blake" (he was my favourite) far more than the shows after his character departed. However, overall the entire series was entertaining. Individuals cope with death various ways. One M.A.S.H. episode I think is relevant to this "rant" is titled "The Life You Save," Season 9, Episode 20, 1981.
I will paraphrase the synopsis. Dr. Charles Emerson Winchester III takes off his hat and notices a sniper's bullet had missed his head by inches. He becomes fascinated, or shall I say obsessed with death as well as a soldier who came back from the dead and drowns him with questions about what it was like to be dead.
Charles then travels to an aid station and sits with a dying soldier constantly asking him what he is thinking and feeling. At that time we find out Charles had a younger brother who died and for a long time afterwards he couldn't walk by the child's room without feeling profound instability...Hollywood fiction yes, but also a true consequence of human emotion in real life.
No one is exempt from demise...even the richest of the rich can't buy everlasting life. Hopefully the smooth jazz song by Earl Klugh titled "I'll See You Again" has some possibility and hope of connecting with a loved one or friend (who has died) in the near future. The expression "nothing is guaranteed in life except death and taxes" is an adulterated and ingenious statement. A lot of taxes are utmost thievery and politicians thrive on the swindle and rip off. There is no cure for the extortion and it will never disappear, or vanish into mid air. As far as death, we're born, we survive and then we take our last breath...dying like taxes is impossible to avoid. The explorers haven't discovered the fountain of youth and no pill or potion has been produced to live for eternity...or has it?
The Harvenut Puritan Project
Puritan will return with "Eternal Hopelessness"