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Transcending Death

Posted by Shannon Vyff , 28 August 2008 · 1,230 views

Today I got a call while I was in Sears returning some shoes that didn't fit my daughter well (hey any parents out there, they have a free kid advantage program where you can bring in any worn shoes, or clothes and exchange them for new ones that are the same size) --but it was Dottie, from my church's office giving me the news that Marianne Foley had passed away suddenly, because I'm on the board--and she was calling all leadership.

I was sad, I'd talked with Marianne about parenting on more than one occasion (garnered much life experience from her stories of raising her children, and stories about her grandchildren) she was only 67 just today when she died, young in my opinion (well, I think 94 is young because they should have had a 100 year birthday!), she helped so much at our church I always saw her in the office, or the religious education supplies closet, or setting up for adult R.E. classes-- and I had a pit in my stomach, as I realized that when I first heard the news I had thought perhaps the caller would ask me to put them in touch with people in cryonics, until of course the split second after I know that sort of call would not come from the head of our church's office, it would have to be her family... but her family and many think, what does it matter... they are still gone/dead.

I went on with my day, taking my daughter for testing at UT, getting gas, picking out belts for my kids' uniforms, going to my roller girl practice where I could skate and not worry about my eldest not liking her school even though the younger two did, or worry about budget issues, or all the deadlines I had... and I got a call. A call from my dear like-a-sister, friend Lara.

She asked if I'd seen or heard the news (it had been posted, but I'd been out of my home a lot of the day), that Marianne had died suddenly of a heart attack. I said that I had from Dottie. Lara, bless her, always composed--I could feel the pain in her voice.

She said that she was calling those that Marianne had been fond of, and that she had been very fond of me...

I had to sit down and cry after the call, before heading home to get dinner, read to kids etc. the normal functionings of a home...

I love so many at my church, old and young--and when the death of someone I admire, someone that had been fond of me as well... it hurts so deep that I can't stave off the tears that formed, the pit--the controlled breathing while writing this. Is it my fault that I've not done enough? I know that is not the case, but that is the irrational response... I'd even talked with her about cryonics, she'd been interested and hoped it worked....

I hate death, the death of those I love, Marianne was not even one that I loved, like some that I love--just a person I greatly admire and appreciated--and I know that I'm supposed to learn from death, things have always been that way--the poignancy.

Today, I thought (and many cryonicists will disagree with me) that even with cryonics Marianne would be dead. We'd not have her. Just like a divorce can be "like death" or even worse than death if you are a cryonicist ;-) . The person that is loved, is gone--dead is such a loaded word, but others think we cryonicists are not being realistic when we say that a preserved person is dead. I understand that, because it is the great loss. With cryonics though you have the hope, the possibility that some day that person you loved, that you knew will be back to doing the same things they once did...

Yes, we love, we even learn and change through life--and would if we lived thousands of years.

Today I witnessed a parent in line at my kids' school argue with another parent (who had cut in front of 8 people in line) saying "Your time is no more important than ours". The voices were raised, it was primal anger and I just observed--wondered if I'd have to step in and deflate the situation if it continued to escalate. But later, the events of my day caused me to think...

My time is no more important that Marianne's.

Can we transcend death, what it means, what it is? Even if cryonics works, I've felt that I'll live with tremendous guilt--but it will be not so different than the guilt that I live with day to day, I think.

I look forward tonight to my "little sleep", I lay down to refresh my weary body--I don't think the prospect of my "big sleep" (that is if I die in a manner that I can be preserved, or that I actually get to be preserved due to circumstances) --that will bother me much... adieu. Perhaps I'll have another day I feel is important enough to share about, or I'll just revel in peeling the layers of who I am... (one pass-time of mine ;-) ) but most likely the pull will have to be strong enough to pull away from all the things that I need to get done. Right now those are waiting, I felt sharing about Marianne was more important today. (and I know many here, in particular also have the same anger and sadness at death, and question how we could transcend it)





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Darkly Origins
Jan 15 2015 12:34 AM

Beautifully written, Ms. Vyff;  I must say, I can empathize with your sorrows, as well I concur with your idealization on guilt and self-appraisal.

 

       I know we've all ideas, to which are no doubt confounding in retrospection, but share our ideals we must, if but for the sake of collective betterment; alas, we must first better the self, individualistically, before we can truly contribute greatness by any means to all variations of life.

 

Impersonally, I'm doing all I can, (knowing well life in finite, and thus our allotted time is short,) thinking of my aging parents, my lost love(s), the dead who I so cared for, etc., however, as you know, we must push forward, we must continue our efforts, disregarding as much temperament and attitudinal sentiment as we can, for the sake of logical thinking, (in relation to thought patterning,) and reasoning in scientific critique, for the totality of beneficence for all life.

 

Additively, I can relate to your love for psychophysiological sciences and evolutionary sciences.

 

        Sincerely, Verily, wishing you and yours all the best...

 

Jacob A. Eder; 

October 2021

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