Saturday, November 29, 2008

If Tomorrow Never Comes

One topic that most people don't like to think about -- let alone TALK about -- is death. It's one of those mysteries that is so beyond our limited human comprehension that it tends to make one feel small and fleeting in the vastness of time and space. Like most everyone else, it makes me more than a little squeamish, but I still think about it constantly!

My grandmother's death -- right in front of my eyes -- made me truly realize how ephemeral our lives are. One moment we're here and then, poof, we're gone. Sometimes we get to say farewell to our loved ones; often times not.

Every minute of every day, someone leaves home for some reason (e.g., go to school, work or a quick dash to the store for milk, etc.), never to come home again. They may say, "See ya tonight" or "Be back in a jiff", but that jiff never materializes.

Several years back Garth Brooks penned a song entitled, If Tomorrow Never Comes. Though I'm usually not a big fan of country music, this particular song hit a chord with me.
Sometimes late at night
I lie awake and watch her sleeping
She's lost in peaceful dreams
So I turn out the lights and lay there in the dark
And the thought crosses my mind
If I never wake up in the morning
Would she ever doubt the way I feel
About her in my heart

If tomorrow never comes
Will she know how much I loved her
Did I try in every way to show her every day
That she's my only one
And if my time on earth were through
And she must face the world without me
Is the love I gave her in the past
Gonna be enough to last
If tomorrow never comes

'Cause I've lost loved ones in my life
Who never knew how much I loved them
Now I live with the regret
That my true feelings for them never were revealed
So I made a promise to myself
To say each day how much she means to me
And avoid that circumstance
Where there's no second chance to tell her how I feel

If tomorrow never comes
Will she know how much I loved her
Did I try in every way to show her every day
That she's my only one
And if my time on earth were through
And she must face the world without me
Is the love I gave her in the past
Gonna be enough to last
If tomorrow never comes

So tell that someone that you love
Just what you're thinking of
If tomorrow never comes
As a person who keeps to myself a lot, I sometimes wonder if my close friends and family really know how much they mean to me. I try to tell them, from time to time, but I'm never sure I'm saying it in a way that conveys the depths of my feelings.

Since my wife reads this blog, I just want her to know that though, I may not say the right words enough nor be the romantic type -- I LOVE YOU Honey, more than you'll ever know!!!!!

I think one of the primary reasons that death is always on mind is that, simply put, it's not something a person genuinely can prepare for. It's change in the most dramatic sense of the word and, since folks like me detest change, I'm always thinking about how I will react if my beloved wife dies or if it's me facing the final curtain.

So, I'm constantly sifting through various scenarios in the attempt to catalog each one. The idea here is to have a resource to fall back on when the inevitable occurs.

But there's a problem with my plan -- I already know it won't work!! This knowledge makes me even more anxious. It's a vicious cycle.

The reason I know this plan is faulty is as the result of my mother's death. My mother had cancer and her last days were spent in the hospital. Being very close to my mother, I was relieved that, when I flew to Arkansas from Oregon, I arrived in time to enjoy spending some time with her before she slipped into a coma-like state.

Once she lost consciousness for the last time, my brother and I (along with my wife and other family members) spent a lot of time sitting next to her hospital bed waiting for the inevitable. As usual, I mourned her death before it happened to sort of prepare myself for when it did happen.

When the heart monitor flatlined, I soon came to understand that all my preparation was for naught. The emotions simply overwhelmed me and it left me in a daze for weeks!!

So rationally, I realize that thinking about death frequently won't prepare me for it one wit. Too bad, my rational self isn't the dominant one!

Is this something peculiar to me or is this common with other aspies too?

2 comments:

  1. Trey,

    With this particular scenario I think 'aspies' has no relevance. In my experiences with death I too have been completey overwhelmed no matter how much advance knowledge of the event I had.

    I have come to know and accept this about myself and prepare for that instead.

    ReplyDelete
  2. As I tried to state, being overwhelmed by things such as death is not specific only to aspies. That said, I think we are more ill-equipped to deal with it.

    ReplyDelete

Comments are unmoderated, so you can write whatever you want. We may respond...or we may not. It depends on the mood and preferences of the specific author of the post. Ta-Wan generally responds in a timely manner. Trey responds some of the time and Scott rarely replies (due to limited internet access). You can be assured that all comments are read by this blog's two administrators: Ta-Wan & Trey.