Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Interested in The Art of Death?

Not many are. But for whatever reason, it fascinates me. One day in Utah, my dad took Hill and I to Costco for a small shopping spree where we both had a certain amount of money to spend. I saw the book tables and was lost for a half hour, totally engrossed in finding myself new books. All thanks to my dad! What a guy.

I got about 7 that looked like they would work in two suitcases for the flight home. Among them were "The Daring Book for Girls", "Love in the Time of Cholera", and "Mistress of the Art of Death". When I came home excited from my awesome finds, I would show people the title of the last one and I'd get the same face. The "What? You are such a weirdo" face. I don't mind it, I get it all the time due to my lack of manners, ability to speak without thinking and for my self-declared insane fascination with reading fictional stories about death, or in this case, the art of death.

It's weird! I don't understand it but these stories intrigue me, especially when they really start to come together. This book is more interesting than any other because it is set in the year 1171 in England. No one really knows what went on during those dark age years so to speculate that it had to be about like anything we knew about England from before electricity and back when they actually paid minstrels to play as they traveled, is very interesting to me. Half of this book I haven't even understood. The author uses so many words that I've never heard and would have to use a dictionary every two minutes were it not for her basic context clues to help me along the way.

Does anyone else find death fascinating? I know that I shouldn't, especially having a son who died, but it seems like such a seperate interest. I still don't have the actual cause of death for Gus. His Death Certificate only says "results pending" and I'd like to talk to the coroner directly and find out what he actually saw. As I've reflected on my lifelong interest in this, I can only assume that it comes from my dad. He is, after all, a doctor, and has seen death and tried to prevent it himself hundreds of times, and still continues to practice. If Gracie remains our only child, I hope I might be able to go back to school to study something close to my dad's profession. I would never have the strength or will-power to become an actual doctor, but even a nurse is good for me.

I've never been able to talk to someone directly about this particular fascination of mine because no one else relates to it. If you have the fascination and also have no one to talk to, you can come to me. Or just borrow this book from me when I'm finished or get it from the library. It's amazingly complex and totally engrossing. It also talks about the disgusting desires of humans (men, in particular) in an amazingly tasteful way, as tastefully as it can be done, and it's insane to think that the disgusting men that exist today existed practically at the beginning of time.

Anyway, on to something a little more uplifting. I'm at the beginning of a good "Gus Cycle". But I can't start one of those without crashing before-hand. I crashed on Monday. Cried all day, could not stop, and tried to get it all out. It came at about the right time. During our trip in Utah, my good friend and cousin Sadie and her family began a very hard trial. Their 2 year old son, Ryder, was admitted to the hospital for pneumonia and Influenza Type A. I wished so badly I could have seen her and been there for her. It was very scary for me because throughout the week we would get random reports from my dad and he didn't seem to be getting any better. But the fact that he wasn't getting any worse was a good sign.

Last Saturday came the worst yet of the reports and I was very stressed out. I was also angry because I've decided that the pain of losing a child was given to me and anyone who touches the branches of my family tree in any way is not allowed to feel it themselves. I have that covered and I'll tell them all about it, but they are not allowed to feel it. (This also extends to friends, by the way.) Hear me: Not Allowed. That day, we also saw another cousin, Jeremy and his wife Taylor, who had a 5 week old boy. He was beautiful but I couldn't hold him and it was hard to be in the room with him. I did have a great talk with Taylor, though, and was so happy to meet her.

Anyway, all the stress and Gus thoughts built up over the past week or two and exploded all over the place on Monday. Thank goodness Ryder seems to be doing better but I'm praying for that little boy and his family every day. Please include them in yours.

So there is the full report on how I'm doing. Much better today and hopefully Gracie and I will make it to the park. As for the Art of Death, we can just leave that alone for a while, but it was nice to get off my chest.


Mrs. Bennett said...

We all have fascinations with things that may seem strange to others. When I was in college I read "The Stranger Beside Me" which is a true crime novel about Ted Bundy. It was so intriguing to me but none of my friends or roomates understood why I would want to read it. But I liked it so who cares what they thought? :)

Kelsey said...

I think lots of us have a fascination with death, whether or not we want to admit it. I don't like to watch horror movies, but a few years ago I read American Psycho. It was so gross, but I couldn't help myself, I read the whole thing in just a few days. I can't explain why it was so interesting to me, and I don't actually want to know.

Anyway, I love to hear that you're thinking about going to school and getting into health care. Education is so important. Have you given any thought to getting started with online classes?

Lyndsay said...

I recently bought a book called The Historian. Look into it.

The Queen said...

I sneak peeks at your blog, too. :) One of my mother's best friends lost a baby boy when he was only a couple of days old. Then just last November her daughter lost a daughter to pneumonia. I cried and cried for them. It is so unfair. I, like you, think that if a family must go through this loss that it should be limited to one time only. Life sucks sometimes, doesn't it? It has been a while since I have visited "you" and so I was reading back a few posts, and just read that you struggle with depression and being bi-polar. Please do not mess with that! Take your medication! It does not matter how much it costs. I have two friends that have been affected by bi-polar disorder. One was on her mission when she first had an episode. She thought her companion was a man and that they were married. Not fun. And another friend's husband walked out on her. He is bi-polar and had stopped taking his meds. Even more not fun. I don't think it's worth the risk that you run. I just want you to know that I think you are awesome. I, too, have dealt with major depression; PPD and otherwise. Dealing with that on top of losing sweet little Gus is a major kick in the a**. Like I said, not fair.

Oscar said...

I love books about the Holocaust so I understand that look people give you. What a morbid time to be obsessed with. I am so interested in the human ability to cope, move on, and the horror of what we are capable of. Also everyone is intrigued by death...whether they admit it or not...we are all going to die..none of really know what happens when we die. It is the biggest mystery other than why my husband thinks he "has" to hold the remote :)

emidinkl said...

As long as we are all making confessions...I am strangely interested in Jack the Ripper murders. I spent an entire day tracking the murder sites while in the Whitechapel district in London. I'm glad you brought this up--nice to see there are others of us with a little dark side. So you're in good company!

Lauren said...

I am totally intriguied with the Black Death. I have no idea why. It might be that it is so frightening, that it is thrilling to read, ya know? I totally understand where you are coming from.

Have you started "Love in the time of Cholera"? I hear it is really good, but I want to know your opinion.

You know what book sounds good? Atonement....I see the previews for the movie, I bet the book is fabulous.

Sadie said...

Fascinating. I will put that book on my to read pile. And it's nice to find out we are twins in yet another way. I started my nursing degree in college and being here in the hospital has made me realize just how much I would like to finish it. I love all things medical. We need to hang out Mel.

AmyK said...

Hey girl. I can 100% relate to you and your "gus cycle". I wish so badly the pain I felt would have stopped with me and wasn't passed along!

I know you have some tough months coming up ahead of you. Just know on August 1st I will be thinking of you as that is my son's birthday also.

I am always here if you ever just need to bitch, moan, cry, complain or just want someone to talk to that knows what you're going through.