Van’s life is described as “most simple and ordinary and therefore most terrible” (Tolstoy 42). So what would happen when death befalls him? What would be with his material pursuits in life? Rather, what would be without a spiritual pursuit in life? As death loomed larger, Van’s focus in life changed. He started to realize the flaws in his path of life. As time passed, he went from a being of self-concern to one of a spiritual concern. This concern eventually brought him to be gladdened by his death. Death is often said to be a reality.
Many people fear it, but in reality it is not a bad thing. When one examines the lifestyle, one realizes that man is placed on this earth for a relatively short period of time, n relation to the existence of the world thus far and its projected existence. It would not be correct to say that one is looking forward to death, but as mortal creatures, we must contemplate death and be prepared for it, whether it be our own death, or the death of a relative or friend. One may go further to suggest that fear of death is a social construct. It may also be very dependent on on?s religious beliefs.
I find it quite ironic that humans are so fixated on life which for many of us is a day to day struggle to survive “paycheck to paycheck”. When I was younger, I had a harsh lesson in death which taught me the meaning of life. Almost eleven years ago, my grandmother, who was very close with, passed away. She was very special to me because she lived very close to me and we saw each other at least twice a week. Most of my life she had lived about an hour away and only saw her once every few months, but during the last two years of her life, she lived five minutes away.
She was a grandmother figure because she did anything for her children and grandchildren and hosted many family gatherings. About a year and a half before she passed away, she was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. As a nouns child, I wasn’t told about this immediately. I remember being on a train from New York, back to Long Island, when my mother told me. It was a sunny day, which suddenly turned dark and gloomy after I heard this horrific news. I was sitting across from my mother as she told me. I remember asking “she will be gone? . It didn’t sink in immediately because I wasn’t ready to accept it. Remember thinking that she is still here so maybe she won’t die. What was even more striking was once I saw her after heard about this, nothing seem to have changed. She was still my grandmother, and acting like it also. I didn’t get lost in my emotions because life was the same. Cancer is an invisible malady. She looked the same last week, why suddenly is she dying? I didn’t fully accept it until the night when she passed away.
The doctors were unable to treat her and she had decided to live out her remaining days surrounded by family, in her home. Saw as she moved from a state of consciousness to a state of unconsciousness. The situation in the family turned to one of seriousness and sadness. They knew what was coming. Went into the den around eight o’clock on a Friday night. I sat down on the couch and couldn’t old back my emotions. I had seen my grandmother a minute before in the bedroom over and she was peacefully laying there. I remember wondering if she was aware of what was going on.
My mother came in and sat down next to me. My mother was upset since this was her mother, but as an adult she understood the outcome months ago and had accepted it. Reality sank in for me that Friday night. Was destroyed. I realized that she had a matter Of hours left. She had done so much for our family and felt that I could have never treated her as well as she treated me. My mother calmed me down and assured me that is everything is fine. She told me about the wonderful life my grandmother lived and the impact she had on her family, friends and community.
She assured me that if everyone would live such a life, the world would have no issues. I sat there and began to contemplate what I was being told. Realized that as she returns her soul to god, she will be greeted at the gates of heaven by angels welcoming her in. She will be back with her parents, brother and my grandfather who had passed away a year earlier. As reflect back on that train ride where I was told of her impending death, I ant remember how long this was before her death.
I suppose that the shock caused me to be overcome by other thoughts that I didn’t retain when I was told. Also don’t remember what happened after that train ride or where we were on the train when I was told. Remember being saddened upon hearing that she was dying, but as a child, death is a foreign concept. The idea that something is final and irreversible is unfathomable by children. Children are used to seeing changes in the world without understanding why they are happening, but as time passes, these changes revert back to their original Tate in many circumstances.
The phenomenon of death, which is irreversible, may be difficult to grasp when everything else lacks finality. My grandmother taught me the importance of family and proportioning in life. I witnessed as my family literally cared for her until her death which taught me a lesson in the importance of family. She taught me the importance of being a spiritual person by praying every day and making herself available whether it be day or night to help anybody in need. She taught me the importance of balancing spirituality with physicality so I will be prepared for death.