How Death Affects You

I deal with death, pretty much every day. I am at an age where a lot of people you know die,  I work as an astrologer, specializing in counseling people who are despairing or dealing with truly horrible things.

I also visit the hospital where I often meet people who near death, as well as their loved ones who are trying to deal with loss they know is coming. On top of this, I tend to know people who are twenty or more years older than I am. Death is real to me. With a packed 8th house, I should not be surprised.

My husband has also been around a lot of death. He always says, you never know how someone’s death will affect you. You may deal well with people dying…and then someone dies and you find yourself, knocked for a loop.

I didn’t deal well with death when I was young.  I saw a lot of if until I was about 25 years old, I was pretty awful at coping with it. In hindsight, I feel ashamed at how poorly I dealt with it.  After that time, no one died around me for many years. It was uncanny.

I wrote some years ago, that it had been close to fifteen years since someone died around me.  It was strange, after the parade of death of my youth. I knew it wouldn’t last. So like I said, this is no surprise.

What did surprise me is how well I have been able to cope with death over the last…eight years or so. I can’t tell you why this is. It’s not anything I can define. But this week there was a death in my circle and it’s hit me hard.

It’s the deacon who married my husband and I, the second time, in the Catholic church. He was old man, not particularly well.  He’s survived cancer, many years before. Overweight, diabetes..and I don’t know what else.  He had trouble getting around, pain, numbness…he was sort of messed up, come to think of it.  But when I talked to him, I didn’t think of it.

I didn’t think of it, because he was so funny. He laughed a lot. He was just a funny guy.  And he mentioned his birth date to me, once, if you can believe that. So I know his sun was exalted in Aries , Venus exalted in Pisces, Jupiter in Sagittarius (ruler).

Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? He was married for fifty-eight years. He worked as an engineer for thirty-eight years…and then became a deacon in 1991.

My husband liked him too. He was the kind of man, my husband would have like to smoke a cigar with, and talk about theology. He married us…and then he retired less then a year ago.

He had a massive stroke a couple weeks ago. He died in his sleep last week.  I find myself feeling sadder as the days pass.  He was a good man, who served many, but I realize I took him for granted.  I wish now, I’d have said something to him, but I did not.

I’m not sure what I should have said, but I’ll tell you what I did. I called this man, the day before my wedding and told him not to come in!  I told me that we were not getting married – never mind!  Such is the level of my commitment-phobia.  Pretty stupid, seeing at my husband and I were already married and had been for years!

He reacted to this, calmly.  Somehow, we all made it to the church the next day and he married us. I’ve been so happy since. I don’t think I have had a TRUE BAD DAY since my (second) wedding. So you see this man means a lot to me and my husband…to my whole family.

I think I should have said something to him about this. I had a few years, where I could have. I regret my inaction.

He reminds me of my grandfather to a large extent. They were both older men, kind men, spiritual men. I took my grandfather for granted too, which I also regret.

I said a rosary for the deacon today. I guess I’ll just keep doing that.

My husband says I can still talk to him. He just won’t be able to answer me is all.

How does death affect you?

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Comments

How Death Affects You — 32 Comments

  1. Yep you can talk to him. He’ll hear you, and if you listen well, you might hear him. So sorry for your loss. I deal well with death. I have done hospice social work and I have been training as a medium. I am clear it’s just the shell of the body that dies.

  2. I had a lot of contact with him. I met him in RCIA. I had go through annulment process, ad did my husband. My confirmation was delayed for two years. More than that! I was upset, and quite ignorant. Which is understandable, since I didn’t know much about Catholicism. It’s not simple, that’s for sure.

    I guess I’d have to credit him for making it all tolerable. He’s was a very patient man.

  3. It is not impossible that he could answer you in a dream but you may or may not remember when you wake. I also find that intense grief can hinder this.

  4. Oh, Elsa, I am so sorry for your loss. I know you friend the Deacon understood how you felt, though, because you have been his friend all these years and you have shared many moments with him. And yes, you can still talk to him. I talk with my Dad a lot, even after 1 1/2 years.

  5. I think people would be amazed, how terrific all this is. I guess I’m realizing how much I learned from him.

    My husband was visibly shook when they announced he’d had a stroke after mass. This Saturday, there was a notice of his funeral mass in the bulletin. I handed it to my husband in the pew – he read it and his face turned white. It was All Souls Day.

  6. ***********************
    He reminds me of my grandfather to a large extent. They were both older men, kind men, spiritual men. I took my grandfather for granted too, which I also regret.
    ***********************

    I think this might be part of the reason it hit you so hard.

  7. I think you are fine but in a vulnerable place emotionally from what you’ve written about your own health issues. The deaths of others is going to shake you up more at times like this no matter how level and clear-eyed you may THINK you are. This will pass. Your deacon friend is free, no pain, and probably very busy! Or all the Tibetans I have read are full of it. The poignancy and miracle of our being here at all is acute right now. Let it flow over you.
    I’m a Cancer rising, hence the mother hen shtick.

  8. I’ve lost, at last count, thirteen friends and family members in the past thirteen months. One more is lost to a persistent vegetative state, which isn’t technically death, but he’s basically gone.

    It’s been a great, gradual and heavy, heavy, emotional burden over the past year, but ultimately, I’m still here to carry on and they’re not. This spurs me on to make the most of the days I have left, and to love the people who have seen fit to stay in my sphere with all my heart, body and soul. Tomorrow, it could be me, or them. Love is really all that matters. And joy! Gotta create joy when and where you can.

  9. Oh man. I’m so sorry Elsa – he was super cool.

    I’m not sure about the death question. I’m lucky that I haven’t lost anyone I’m super close to. My grandparents, yes, but not until I was well into adulthood. I think about it a lot, though. My Pop is in middling health and my relationship with my Mom is rough right now, so I think about this a lot.

  10. Oh, I talk to the dead all the time, and they listen, and I feel their hands lifting me up and helping me throughout my life. It’s soul communication.

  11. i guess sometimes you don’t know how much of an impact someone has on your life until they die. <3

    funny, i have the same placements (sun/venus/jupiter) as the deacon.

    there were a few poignant deaths around me as a teenager (three female relatives that had a big impact on me) and then nothing for a while. after my nana died (in 2002) i've been bracing myself for more. not in an anxious way, just knowing it could come at any time.

  12. I don’t think it effects me any more. I think I go into shock and then I just deal with the living until the funeral is over. Now, I just don’t think about it. It’s too upsetting to constantly realize I will never hear her voice again, or give her hug, or talk about old movies. I just don’t. Death is a part of life. It sucks. But it happens and there’s nothing I can do to change it. Deal with the living, keep going, eventually if I’m lucky someone will miss my voice. If not, I’m cool with that too. There’s that Frost quote, “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”

  13. “My husband says I can still talk to him. He just won’t be able to answer me is all.”

    He can. So, you better be careful with that.
    You could end up haunted, even possessed… And, he could prove not such a great guy afterall once you’re being touched by him, and sharing a brain with him.

    Cope with death?
    More like cope with being harassed by the dead every day.
    As for deaths of the living/embodied/whatever to call those of the physical plane? Hardly phased.
    I’ll be even less so with things I’m learning.
    Let’s put it this way, death is not the end. And, I mean beyond reincarnation, you do not magically stop existing after that physical plane body is done.
    And, that’s why you should not promise your soul to anyone. Because you do not want to be a slave in the afterlife.
    At any rate. There’s really no such thing as death. Like independence. It’s just in your head.

    • i’m sorry for your loss. it’s so hard losing someone like this. it’s so true, that you take those who have been there for you for granted. as for what’s mentioned about spirits who harass, those spirits aren’t “good” spirits. i understand alot of the spiritworld, and good people who lived/usually are good when they have gone on. When my grandpa died, i dreamt of him alot, not weekly or monthly but when there were hard times during the years past. But he left a kind of message that to take care and that he loved us very much. But he said he had to go away and can’t stay. good spirits never stay because they have to move on. But they’ll always be by your side when there are dark dark days.

  14. My Mum died suddenly – I find death always so painful (I’m catholic) our last conversation was about the roses in the garden, I was worried my red roses wouldn’t survive the winter and on the telephone she gave me tips on how to protect them… a week later she was dead … the red roses survived….(this was seven years ago, but it doesn’t get any easier or lighter) I have capricorn sun and merc in 8th house. Pluto was conjuncting my ceres in Sag when she passed away.

  15. Thank you Elsa, I was so moved by your post and the death of your deacon that I wrote what was so heavy on my heart. I’m grateful for your posts, especially those on such painful, often ‘unvoiced’ subjects. I try in different ways to help people who are living with grief, (it helps mine)- thank you for helping so many of us.

  16. Have I ever told you that I enjoy reading your posts and blogs you are a delight Elsa. However I do agree with your husband (My husband says I can still talk to him. He just won’t be able to answer me is all.) Energy does not die and we are made of energy so though the deacon and your grandfather have left the physical world that we know they can still hear you even if they can not answer you. I also believe that when people become comfortable in their spiritual faith which ever one that is and as they age you come to terms with death. I would not say that all people come to terms with death but most people I know do by the time they are past 30 to 35 years old.

  17. I am sorry for the loss of a guidepost in your life. It is lovely that you will say the rosary for him. That is a very powerful gift/offering , He will know your love and feel the grace of that. He was a blessing in your life but you are also a continued blessing to him as well. He will be so pleased that you honor him this way.

  18. The pain of missing someone partly comes from not being able to communicate, especially when someone is taken suddenly. There is no time! Its like being cut off on the phone, its an unfinished thing. My friend told me via an intermediary (actually on the phone which was a bit strange) the book of his life had been written and he had achieved everything he had set out to do. And lots of other things that only I knew. He was fine! He is apparently sitting in a garden with his mother drinking tea! It was me that felt left alone without him, my protector and encourager. It put my mind at rest. A few days later I was given a new book on World Book Night which I chose at random from a big pile, thinking which one would he choose? It had a dedication window where you should put your own name and then pass on the book once you had read it. It was already signed… with his first name. This was when the Mercury / Pluto / Uranus thing was happening in Apr / May 2013. I still get frustrated not being able to actually converse or visit him. But I hold on to that conversation and I look to the sky! So I would say your friend knows what you are trying to say, your husband is right. I am sorry you lost such a good person in your life.

  19. Much obliged to you Elsa, I was so moved by your post and the demise of your elder that I composed what was so overwhelming on my heart. I’m thankful for your posts, particularly those on such excruciating, frequently “unvoiced” subjects. I attempt in diverse approaches to help individuals who are existing with distress, (it helps mine)- thank you for helping so a hefty portion of us.

  20. I’m sorry for your loss. I have dealt with a lot of death my whole life. This March my friend Trevor died in his sleep from tonsillitis a month shy of his 35th birthday. This one has really knocked me for a loop. I rarely cry and yet I find myself tearing up Just talking about him. This is certainly not the first time’s lost a friend close to my age or younger but it has brought up a lot of issues and ideas. He lived a full and meaningful life during the very years I floundered in depressive inertia. He just finished a novel. He had been a schoolteacher a songwriter worked with severely disabled children…..the last few months in retrospect I think back over our interaction and wonder if he knew he was on a limited time unconsciously. I talk to him all the time. Of course he could only be on loan to this world briefly. He was that rare, blink and you’ll miss it. Glad I don’t blink much.

  21. Elsa, I just read this article after attending my best friends stepfathers funeral. He stepped forward as the only stability in her life. I see why. His family was wonderful, the love in the room for this man was thick. Funny stories and grandma made food made me remember how important real love is. He loved her mother dearly and it always showed. Thank you for all you do and everybody else remember to tell those you love how you feel. They might not be there the next day to hear it.

  22. @Elsa, I never saw this post so I clicked on it. How sad he had passed but how sweet and poignant he married you and your husband for the second time in the Church. And so romantic!

    I do wonder now how all the health care workers, doctors and families are dealing with death of so many. Death has ripped through this country at alarming speeds with COVID-19. I pray no one I know dies from it. It would be so hard to process. I sure don’t take life for granted any more!

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