Thursday, July 23, 2009

Post-Mortem Lesson 5: What Is It Like?

This is one question I am quite fond of asking. What is it like to be in a particular situation? To be in a less fortunate state? To be confronted with your greatest fear? A good number of times I have been taken as a pessimist, one who looks at the worst possibilities, but for me it is one of my rather perverted means of being able to understand people and situations.

A week ago, I had an in-depth chat with a friend in Second Life. Like me, she has had her fair share of losses: her fiance died, and later on, her husband succumbed to cancer. It was an enriching conversation, to say to the least. She then gave me a link to a video clip. "I think you should watch this," she said in essence, "as this video might give you fresh insights on death from a scientific point of view."

The video in question is that of Jill Bolte Taylor, a brain researcher who herself had a stroke and was witness to her own body's gradual shutdown of functions. She has hence recovered and eventually travelled to give talks mainly on her recovery. I took the liberty of embedding the video. You may visit its source at

Probably the most striking part in the video is when Jill narrated how the right half of her brain struggled with the left, affecting her perception of being "one" with her environment as against being "one", a solitary being. This is an experience where Jill is practically at the brink of death, and stories of people coming from a near-death experience are always very interesting and intriguing.

What is it like, indeed, to approach the end of your life? When you see a good number of people drop one by one like flies, you tend to start wondering yourself. I, for one, am not very religious, but I believe in a Higher Being, and I believe that when a person dies, his energy has to go somewhere. An energy converted to another, if I wish to be nerdy about this.

However, I see little point in being nerdy when it comes to people I care for who have left this physical world. Why rationalise [and hurt myself more in the process]? For me, they cannot be truly gone, they are just somewhere, in a place I cannot physically be in, energy conversion be damned. I guess even Science can support me somehow at this point.

For now, though, it is faith that tells me: the people that I care for are in a better place, in another level of existence, and that I know that I am [still] cared for in return. And that I make this statement regardless of religion, regardless of science.


al bjornstad said...

Gi, you are cared for in this life and in the "better place." I understand what you are going through and I hope in time you would feel less pain.

xtin said...

you are not alone with these thoughts =) sobrang toxic lang with my two jobs, but still looking forward to our trip and meaningful conversations (fun or otherwise, kung ano feel mo!). hope u have been driving safely!

may juliet said...

Hi, Gigi!
We have parallel notions about death and the afterlife. :D
I think my mom is just in another dimension, and I need to leave my phyical being on earth to reunite with her eventually or bump into one of her many journeys after earthlife. Thought about it one night during her wake. The movie, "Contact" was not yet shown then . It was my way of being hopeful to cope with the distressing reality ahead.

I'm not religious, either. Though my faith is ecclectic, I still believe that there is one Supreme Being: the Almighty Creator, the Almighty Genius, the Almighty Architect, the Almighty Healer, etc.

Gigi, please read about Dabrowski's Theory of Overexcitabilities , in case you haven't. It may help you understand yourself better.
I'll email you about my kuno-kunong champorado recipe ASAP. :D

God bless!

The Last Song Syndrome said...

@annalyn: your sister is also remembered with fondness. thanks.

@xtin: me too, been a little occupied. i have added another agenda to our future meet-up: bobby chinn bashing! :D

@may: i watched contact when no one i knew had passed away yet. think i better see it again. and i will check out that book. thank you for dropping by. still waiting for the recipe ;)