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[personal] Weekend update, a bit of mortality - Lakeshore
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Jay Lake
Date: 2012-01-15 06:52
Subject: [personal] Weekend update, a bit of mortality
Security: Public
Tags:cancer, child, family, health, personal, stories, writing
Yesterday was fairly good in some ways. I got another 2,500 words in on "You Will Attend Until Beauty Awakens". [info]the_child made substantial if rocky progress on homework with an assist from me at several key junctures. She and I had lunch with my parents, as well. We also wound up rewatching the first Harry Potter movie on DVD last night. As an added bonus, my overnight dreaming included [info]kylecassidy talking at me from a television, his head shaven and horky black hipster glasses on his face.

At the same time, my dinner date cancelled due to the flu, which was a mild bummer for me and a much bigger bummer for her. More importantly, yesterday I learned of two recent deaths. An old friend of the family — of my parents' generation — died of complications from a severe stroke. And a young writer friend of mine died of complications from metastatic breast cancer, leaving behind her infant daughter. In neither case was the death especially surprising in a larger sense, but in both cases it was unexpected by me.

I don't walk around in a depressive fugue or anything like that, but I find myself a lot more sensitive to mortality issues these days. As I said to another friend recently, talking about personality changes under extreme stress, the biggest change I see in myself over these past 3.75 years of dealing with cancer is that I've utterly lost my once boundless optimism. (It was John Pitts who pointed this out to me.) I don't think I've become sour or withdrawn, I just have no faith in my future. I've been shot down way too hard too many times in the past few years to feel like flying high any more. Neither of these deaths are about me in any way, and I wasn't especially close to either of the women who passed away, but I still feel them like a leaden cloak upon my bent shoulders.

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User: rekre8
Date: 2012-01-15 16:48 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I kinda agree, but I think it's cultural rather than physiological. We started making life 'cleaner' wich lead to less visibility into the source of food on your table as well as less illness and death at all age groups, and at the same time have done a lot of buffing of the youth, who upon growing up were shocked when their peers did start dying, and so did an even better job of insulating the youth. Not that being callus about death is a good thing, but recalling the older warrior cultures (or at least the Hollywoodization of them), there seemed to be a bit more acceptance of yup, it could happen, but let's go do this risky thing anyway.

Jay, I hope you can find the balance between 13th Warriors's "today is a good day to die" and that leaden cloak. I also want to point out that I typo'd dye throught most of this post - I seem to be in that same denial keikaimalu points out.
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