A Few Answers To Questions You Always Wondered About

June 6, 2018 | No Comments » | Topics: Answers

What’s it like to know you are going to die soon?

How does it feel to know you are dying? That is a difficult question, because the answer can be different from day to day or even from hour to hour. The feeling, range from denial, to fear, to guilt, to anger, to sadness and to acceptance. It is the same, I suppose, as any greiving process. You can’t work your way through one set of feelings and neatly move on to the next.

It is almost like being at the beach, standing in the water on a windy day. A wave comes at you and almost knocks you off your feet. You struggle and regain your balance, just in time for the next wave to hit. Over time, the strength of the waves subside and you think your footing is a little more secure. Suddenly, out of seemingly no where another large wave hits and you almost loose your balance again.

I suppose that pretty much describes the grieving process for anything. You can be hit by wave after wave of denial or anger, what ever, each wave trying to knock you down. The emotional waves don’t hit in any particular order or strength. Gradually, these waves do lessen in strength or intensity and you come to the peacefulness of acceptance. You are still not out of the water, and at anytime a wave can suddenly come back and hit.

Over time these emotional waves become less frequent and less severe. For me acceptance came almost as a relief. Knowing, I would not have to deal with the roller coaster ride of emotions, the ups and downs. Am I totally free of these feelings, no. I don’t really know, if I ever will be totally free. As long as you are alive, how can you be totally free of your feelings? Accepting them is one, thing being free of them is another. The waves have just been downsized and more easily manageable.

Maybe, I am still in an element of denial. I know what the doctors have said and I accept that. I just don’t think it is going to happen any time soon. Is that denial or just the human spirit pushing us on? I don’t know. With acceptance does that mean I have given up? No. Does that mean I have lost the will to live? NO. All it means is I am ready to go when God calls me, but not one minute before that. I do not fear death, I just want to delay it as long as possible.

– Bill Howdle



What does depression feel like?

Imagine a box. Imagine within that box there are various objects, things that elicit some sort of emotion within you. A treasured childhood toy that brought you joy, a picture of a long-lost love to bring you a sweet sadness, a picture of the guy who put a dent in your car and that makes you mad.

Your emotional range, the feelings that you are capable of expressing, this box contains them. There’s the VHS tape where your best friend faceplanted while trying to impress a girl, it always makes you laugh. A blanket that provided you with feelings of security when you were young. The sense of fulfilling contentment you felt when you finished building that doghouse, the a miniature version of the doghouse is in there.

Then, one day, you go into the box and something seems off. It doesn’t seem like much but… wasn’t the blanket in there just a minute ago? It might just be misplaced, not something to really worry about. Then, a week later you notice… that VHS tape seems to be a bit damaged, like someone spread oil on the tape. It still plays but the image is distorted, some of it unrecognizable. You want to enjoy it but just can’t seem to get past the fact that the video gets really blurry when your friend trips. The audio is distorted. It’s still there, the tape is playing, but everything about it is just not the same anymore.

Slowly, over time, the items in the box disappear. You’re not really sure where they went. You can remember them. You remember how the childhood toy felt in your hands, its weight and texture are familiar, but you can’t find it any more. The blanket has returned but parts of it are tattered, or rotting away, as if something has severely mishandled it.

All of these items disappearing, all of these items becoming altered, or even damaged, when they happen on their own it doesn’t seem like a big deal.
“This food that I always loved is still great, but something tastes different. Maybe I messed up the recipe this time.”
“I love this song but… did the audio just skip? Maybe a temporary glitch.”
“The picture of my former love, while I miss her dearly I will cherish the time we did have together… is it starting to turn yellow? The passage of time.”

Individually these are manageable. Sometimes even fixable. But, as time goes on, these misfortunes seem to happen more frequently. Items vanish for longer periods of time. Some come back in even worse shape. Multiple items disappear at once. Damage begins to compound. The box itself begins to show signs of wear. The hinges of the the lid creak. It’s paint cracks. You can begin to smell rotting wood.

Before you know it the box and the contents within no longer make you feel the way you once did. Items that held such meaning for you are lost and have been for quite some time. You know they were just in there a minute ago, but you can’t remember how long it’s been since you’ve seen them. The memory of how they felt in your hands becomes more fleeting, more distant. The beauty of the picture has been corrupted, it is an ugly thing now, its vibrant colors now replaced with an fetid yellow smear. The blanket has rotted into unrecognizable scraps. The toy is broken. The box itself is dilapidated.

You begin to resent the contents of the box.
You begin to resent the feelings that the contents once instilled in you.
You become frustrated over no longer being able to capture these feelings.
The box itself begins to represent that frustration. It was once so beautiful and held beautiful things. But it’s changed, warped, corrupted.
This new feeling disgusts you.
How did this happen?
How did it change this dramatically?
Where did the beauty go?
What could you have done to stop it?

That is what depression feels like. It’s hopelessness. It’s corruption. It steals from you that which once brought light to your life. It twists and perverts the best things about yourself into aberrations, ghoulish parodies that mock you at every turn. It breeds resentment in yourself- resentment for who you once were, resentment for what you’re becoming, and resentment towards the fact that there may have been nothing you could do to prevent it and fear that any attempt to fix it will only make it worse. Opening the box could weaken the hinges further, trying to clean the box may accelerate the wood’s rotting, every time you try to hold the toy another piece falls off, watching the tape further erodes its quality, the blanket has been reduced to mere threads.

All you have left is the distant memory of a time when everything about the box and its contents were pure, fresh, and strong.

And even then, memory, like all things, also fades, until all you have left is nothing.

That, to me, is what Depression feels like.

– nodnarb232001



What does it feel like to die?

I was attempting to repair my Mother’s garage door when no one was home. I had just finished my first year as a Master’s student in Biology and had always been a fairly good handyman so I thought this should be no problem. The previous owners had jury-rigged everything, and the garage door spring was no different. As I removed a wooden plate across the spring that shouldn’t have been there, the high-tension spring broke ripping through my thumb and forearm. My thumb was hanging by the strip of skin between the thumb and pointer-finger and I could see at least one bone in my forearm. Bleeding profusely I crawled through a window (the garage door was stuck down), grabbed a rag to apply pressure and called 911. I crawled to the end of the driveway, hoping someone would see me and tried to stay on the phone with 911 as blood was gushing out of me. As time went on (this was a house out in the country) I felt ever more calm and relaxed. I remember thinking “this really isn’t that bad”. As I became more and more tired I finally told the 911 operator apologetically that I had to let her go because I was dying. I set down the phone I let the warm comfort come over me. It was literally the most comfortable feeling I have ever felt in my life. Imagine curling up in a warm blanket on a cold, rainy day with the woman you love, and then multiply that by 100. As I slipped out of consciousness I knew I was dying and at last lost consciousness. As the black came on, everything that was me slipped away. I became nothing and it was the most extraordinary moment of my life. I not only accepted the seemingly inevitable but truly embraced the loss of my identity. Dissolving into nothingness was the most comforting feeling I have ever had.

I was assumed dead by the sheriff who first arrived on the scene and was brought back (no heart rate) en route to the hospital. I vividly remember coming back and I assure you it was the most horrifying experience I have ever had. Not only did the pain of the injury come rushing back, but also every possible emotional tribulation and pain I had felt. It was as though I escaped every emotion and feeling in life and then all of a sudden it was thrust upon me again. I felt as though it was like being a baby again and then having all of the tribulations of growing up thrust upon me instantaneously.

Did I see God, hell no. Did I feel what God probably is? The becoming of one with everything; yes probably. We’re not special, we’re animals and living beings like everything else. I have no doubt that what happens after death is a lot more special than anyone can actually know. I don’t mean that there is a God or anything like that, that is far too simplistic. I don’t believe in God and I don’t necessarily believe in an afterlife but death is certainly not to be feared.


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