watching death

It’s a bit morbid, but I’ve always wondered what it is like to watch someone die. Not that I think I want to, but there’s something about that moment which I can imagine would be transformative. It might be a way of confronting death to come to grips with it, or it may serve to remind one of the tenacity of life. Or its frailty. The movie 21 Grams has a lot to say about that, I bet — I still have to see it. A recent NY Times article (reg. required) talks about people who visit those dying alone to comfort them. I’ve heard there’s also some terrible TV show whose protagonist collects souls for a living — perhaps that feeds a societal obsession with the moment of death.

I think these morbid thoughts come from the graphical descriptions of the deaths and horror during the French Revolution in Marat/Sade. Hacked buttocks lying in the street, people being carried to the guillotine in dung carts, their eyes still moving after the blade fell. It’s repulsive, even more so knowing that text cannot possibly do justice to the experience of being there — that is something only imagination can provide, and it takes a monumental effort for me to force my imagination to grapple with those images.

0 thoughts on “watching death

  1. 21 Grams didn’t have a lot to say about this actually. It was a bit of a jumbled mess (although still worth seeing), but I think it was more about fate and sin…maybe. It’s hard to make sense of. You might think differently after seeing it.

  2. i jumped off the edge of a parking garage and my girl friend didnt know there was a ledge on the other side i didnt say enything i just did it, and she screamed and trully beleived i was dead for a few seconds until i poped up. it was an amazing experience because we both got to experience real death for just a few seconds and it felt real expecially for her.

  3. watched my father take his last breath at 41. cancer took a healthy man in about 11 months. i held his hand to the end. was unable to take off from work – g.m. gave me lecture about death being a natural part of life that just had to be dealt with , a week later he takes a week off because his dog wasnt feeling well!watching death bent me for life, or whats left of it.

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