I LOVE comments. Please leave some even if they are brief half-formed ideas
that you aren't even sure you really believe. I just love comments.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Death: Metaphysics

You don't directly interact with people, right? Your interactions happen inside of your mind. You sense stimuli (like someone's voice) that your brain decodes giving rise to a perception. You have a response, which gives rise to some sort of signal in your brain that sends a little electric signal to you muscles and you respond by talking or hugging or whatever.

Last night I was sitting out in the rain and really spending some time focusing on Dad's memory. I was revisiting what it was like to talk with him on the poarch, or more often in front of the TV in our living room. I was consciously recalling times other than the last days to make sure I didn't lose the memories of the joyful, healthy person.

I thought about a colleague who said she still talks to her deceased father every day and I thought also about what Dad would have to say about current events in our family. Then my brother poked his head out to check and see if I was still doing okay, because they had all gone in the house a while ago.

I said I was fine, and then had that feeling of returning to a conversation, where you've lost your place. You know, a What-was-I-saying moment. Then I thought, again in a split second really, "Who was I just talking to?"

As they say, it is all in your mind.

2 comments:

Matt Dick said...

It is all in your head. Should you be able to recall your father to a certain degree of fidelity, his absence will have disappeared for you, for all intents and purposes.

In fact, I think there are mental illnesses that can be reasonably defined as the ability to create this level of fidelity in absence of external correlates.

You never needed your father's presence to experience him, it just helped a whole lot.

JimII said...

"You never needed your father's presence to experience him, it just helped a whole lot."

Well put.