Friday, June 5, 2009

White Hair Chronicles II

"'In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." - Benjamin Franklin
I am in that part of the demographics where you have reunions of your nth reunion. Actually, it is that age where you go to more funeral wakes, some 20+ years after the spate of weddings, baptisms, birthdays. This year, I've been to 3 or 4 wakes, the last one just the other night. My father died 2 years ago, after an uncle died, then last year another uncle and my grandpa also died.

Icons from childhood fall one by one. Yesterday, David Carradine, Kung-Fu's Caine, was found dead in a hotel room in Thailand. His character was a boyhood idol of mine; philosophical, inquisitive, bright, pacifist. Another boyhood favorite who recently passed away is Marilyn Chambers. She starred in Behind the Green Door, a porn movie, which by today's standards would bore one to stiff. It did that to me then, in another sense.

People, by nature, are afraid of death and dying. To conquer that fear, we turn to religion which assures us that death is not really the end but the beginning of some other life. Science says that energy cannot be created or destroyed; it merely changes form. But still, it is this life, as we know it, that we want and not some unknown afterlife. So we fight illness, we find ways to hang on to dear life.

No one can win over death. It is a natural part of life that will happen sooner or later. All of us will go, cliche-ish but true. Some have gone, some are in the pre-departure area, all must be prepared. So before we all go to that great big reunion, that great gig in the sky, we hold many reunions here on earth to banter, reminisce, recall our youth, while partaking cholesterol-laden food that will hasten our progress into the afterlife.

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