Join us on Facebook
What's Happening
more>>
Events & Entertainment
more>>
twang ditty big
With a side of Twang
Columnist & Blogs
more >>
Katy Byrne
What's Up With That?
Katy Byrne

Death and other thoughts of spring

I know writing about death at the beginning of spring is crazy. I mean, it's lovely outside, flowers are blooming and people are buzzing like bees.

It’s just that I keep opening the newspaper and reading about someone else I'll miss in the obits.

So I got to thinking: what’s the upside and the downside of dying? Is death a peaceful break from paying bills, taxes and worry? Will we all be reincarnated? I really don’t want to come back as a snail or a whale... or do it all over again or spend time in hell. I think I already did that during the foreclosure crisis.

Some say we see our old friends, lovers, relatives, cats or dogs. Geez, I wouldn't know what to say, "What's up - up here?" I mean, that would be great -- what a blast to laugh with my dad again. Oh, how wonderful it would be to sip wine with my friend Mona again.

Or my mom, whose epitaph said "I jostled with life, gave it a whirl, a few of its knots, I tried to unfurl – not with much success, but I did my best – now it’s time to take a long rest.” She was fun until the end. I miss her so.

On the upside, people are remarrying when widowed or having a fling in France,writing books, or basking in the sun on picnics. And sometimes death reminds me to be grateful for a sunny day or my limber limbs. It brings a helpful question: what really matters? Do I worry about the garden knowing my ashes could be spread in it? Do I want one last dance around the block with a white haired guy? Or, a young stud? Will I leave a legacy?

Jennifer Bleyer wrote, “It is important for people who are dying to reflect on what gave their life meaning. When patients express regret, anger or guilt, I may gently encourage them to remember what they're most proud of in their life, to help them realize their life's value... I think if we really accepted death and saw it as part of a process; maybe we'd be kinder and more generous and forgiving."

I like that. But I have to be honest: I’m having trouble coming to terms with death. It's not that I dread it. It's not the possible suffering that some people fear; it’s just that I can't believe it's really going to happen to me. What’s up with that? Maybe it’s the culture of denial -- or my survival instinct? Just yesterday I was 16 with no wrinkles in my neck. Where did the time go? Where do we go? Why didn't I plan for retirement? Will I ever finish boxing up old photographs?

Dust collectors go to dust, just as I will. And a will is a hassle and expense. Of course then I stop at the second hand store and buy something used for fun, gotta’ keep recycling. What’s the meaning of it all? Maybe following my bliss, or making a difference?

What’s the upside of death? A reminder to have fun ? Rescue an elephant? Stand up for what matters to us? Go forward with gusto? Go with the flow? Find acceptance and peace?

Steve Jobs said as he was dying, “wow, wow, wow.” So it must be okay -- as lovely as the vineyards in spring. Jobs said, “Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma -- which is living with the results of other people's thinking…. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

Is death okay when we realize the flow, the rhythm of nature? I see it in the trees and views, so why not just accept life’s changing cycles? Or is death just a problem when we haven't realized our dreams? Who knows, maybe we’re about to enter a little slice of heaven?

Either way, it's time for a dance to spring,

 

 

Continue Story...
VIDEO
Local Movie Trailers and Videos of Interest - more >>
SUN Columnist & Blogs
more >>
Public Citizen - Larry Barnett
The Sun Eats - Sarah Stierch
Turning Stones - George McKale
Pets - Vallard C. Forsythe, DVM
Before It's Too Late - Eric Gullotta
The Sonoma Garden - Karen Boness
Progressive Majority Coalition - Ben Boyce
Taxpertise - Bonnie Lee
Growers Notebook - David Cook
Snark Infested Waters - Bob Edwards
Springs Eternal - Gina Cuclis
Board Walk - Susan Gorin
Nonprofit Matters - Dr. B.J. Bischoff
Body Talk - Heather Morgan
What's Up With That? - Katy Byrne
Blog Dog - Will Shonbrun
Connecting the Dots - Fred Allebach
This Week in Politics - Ron Willis Ed.D.
Find What You're looking For

Archives

What We're Following
more>>
Stories of interest from around the Web
road-construction1 Sonoma County’s bad roads are getting national attention
> Wall Street Journal
Families finding help confronting criminal justice system injustices and abuse.
> New York Times
NASCAR’s Carl Edwards “really loves” driving at Sonoma Raceway
> WPTZ
Hey Sonoma filmmakers: Fleischhacker Foundation wants to fund your project
> Inside Philanthropy
Cool pics from Operation Bicycle; kids fix bikes to learn valuable skills
> Teen Services Sonoma
dripper sprinkler water 10 myths about the drought get debunked
> SF Gate
Map tells you how much you need to make hourly to rent a 2-bedroom. We think it’s probably more here in Sonoma… 
> CityLab
‘Hit the Road Jack’ — walk and run events with Sonoma Plaza as base — returns June 7
> Hit the Road Jack
What are the floods in Texas telling us about the drought in California?
> San Francisco Chronicle
leaf Legalize pot? Huffman, Newsom and other lawmakers to hold forum in Garberville this Friday
> Santa Rosa Press Democrat
Marin County Planners defy Supes, support affordable housing
> Marin Independent Journal
Good news for Santa Rosa Junior College in President’s message
> Santa Rosa Press Democrat
Hispanic paradox: why are these immigrants healthier than non-Hispanic whites ?
> BBC News
Junipero Serra canonization controversial for Mission Indians in CA
> Al Jazeera
The Napa County Grand Jury called for more audits of wineries to confirm compliance with their permits
> Napa Valley Register
30,000 expected to attend Bottle Rock weekend in Napa; the traffic will be fierce!
> Santa Rosa Press Democrat
Napa tourism generates $1.6 Billion, but most jobs created are in restaurants and hotels
> North Bay Business Journal
Airbnb vacation rental controversy spreads to Berkeley, where renters are finding themselves locked out
> KQED
bay_bridge1 A second steel anchor rod on the Bay Bridge has failed its test, but CalTrans says “no big deal”
> San Francisco Chronicle
SMART is responsible for Novato levee damage says Regional Water Board
> Marin IJ
More Following Stories...
Live Traffic
Link to Live Crime Map