Social Question

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Is it possible to die... a little?

Asked by RealEyesRealizeRealLies (29356 points ) March 21st, 2010

Your house burns down. Did you die a little? Has part of your life been destroyed?

Your child is maimed, possibly you are injured beyond repair. Did you die a little?

Your husband leaves. Did you die a little? Has your life been robbed?

If this is so, will you please describe situations where you died a little?

It mustn’t be anything so obvious. When my son (at 14) told me he’d rather go to the movies with his friends, rather than me, I’m not sure, but I think, I think I may have died a little. Part of my old life is gone. Has a part of me died? Or, in my son, has a part of me decided to live, albeit, without me?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

64 Answers

Silhouette's avatar

Lovely question and I think the answer is the old dies so the new can grow. Like the situation with your son, he let go a little and you both grew a little from the experience.

JLeslie's avatar

Awww. I can identify with not only mentally, but physically feeling a loss when someone we care for pulls away, whether it be for positive reasons or negative ones. I have no wise words, just empathy for the feeling.

janbb's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies The great thing about your relationship with your children as they grow older is that you are constantly losing parts of what was, but if you work at it, you are also constantly gaining knowledge of and connection with the newer version of themselves they are becoming. And all their younger selves are like shadows behind them that you can still see….

In answer to your question, I have died “a little” each time I lost a lover or friend whom I felt had become a part of me.

cockswain's avatar

I’ve seen J. Krishnamurti address this concept before. His philosophy is every moment dies and gives birth to the next. In that way, we always die and are reborn through change.

ucme's avatar

It’s not hard to imagine the pain & suffering the loss of a loved one would cause.For me that would constitute part of me dying for sure.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, I have ‘died’ several times over. The old structures crumbling and being replaced with new structures, beliefs, habits, lifestyle, that complements the me of the present moment.

Part of wisdom and maturity is learning to accept the everchanging nature of things and learning to live comfortably with uncertainty.

Very liberating! ;-)

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Die alittle?No.
For all the times a situation didn’t turn out the way I wanted or I didn’t get my own way,I should’ve been dead a thousand times over.
I believe I handle things well and it is that ability that keeps me a fairly happy person.
Ta-da! :)

majorrich's avatar

I can tell you that some things that you do or things that happen to you cause invisible wounds that never really heal. My experience in this is pretty graphic,I killed several and wounded several more men in combat. It is not my fault and it was my life or theirs, but I know a part of me died that afternoon. The wound’s scab over, but just thinking about the situation make them open and bleed again. I still cry and it’s been 20 years.

Coloma's avatar

I think this wording means to ‘die’ to egos agenda, not in a physical sense.

Everytime we experience a loss, a part of us ( metaphorically speaking ) dies.

It is not intended to be literal.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Coloma—-psst-I know it’s not in the literal sense ;)—

Trillian's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Yes, I died a little the first time my oldest daughter didn’t want a kiss when I dropped her off at school. Eventually you learn to live with the kids continual redefinition of your relationship as they get older. But I’ve never stopped missing the way she used to think that I knew everything and her little arms around my neck….

Pandora's avatar

Death is the end of something. So I would have to say yes. Like the death of a feeling or the death of memories.

anartist's avatar

Recently I lived through one of the longest and most vicious civil suits imaginable. If the outcome had been different and it had attracted press, it would have been referred to as the “10 million dollar water hose.” It lasted 5 years. It cost enough to alter my lifestyle. I fought it all the way to a jury because it was so outrageously wrong. I had a miraculously wonderful lawyer, a very admirable judge and a very good jury. Everything went well through the the week plus of trial and I was last to take the stand and I was very scared. But the jury heard me. At lunch my lawyer asked me to take the stand again and be questioned again by my codefendant acting pro se. I got scared, was afraid he would ask some awful dumb thing and make me freeze and asked my lawyer if we could conclude without it. He did not press me. When we filed back in the judge said “And now I’m sure Mr—has plenty of questions for Ms ___ and I DIED INSIDE THEN. I realized I had thrown away my chance to right a great wrong after so many years.

The judge instructed the jury to note that Ms ____ never resolved the issue of X. When the jury returned I won 2 of 4 counts and was awarded damages that were one fiftieth of what the whole mess had cost.

I lost faith in my judgement and am not sure when I will get it back.

Coloma's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille

Lolololol…yeah..I figured as much! hahaha

janbb's avatar

@anartist That’s a powerful story and very sad. I went through a 5 year period of a threatened lawsuit against me; it was very traumatic. I can empathize.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I had my wisdom teeth removed. A small peice of me died that day.
I can only guess that a mastectomy or prostatectomy might feel that way too.

liminal's avatar

I’ve cried my way through this whole thread. It is letting me remember goodbyes and changes in relationships. Yes, part of me dies and as Silhouette said new growth emerges.

@janbb saying “all their younger selves are like shadows behind them that you can still see” so apt. Thank you for those words.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Coloma -:)
Like everyone else here.I have had some trying times.Death,sickness,rejection,and other things that would be considered horrible.but think it is foolish to let someone’s actions or an occurance determine one’s happiness.

janbb's avatar

@liminal I passed the playgorund the other day and children were playing in the sand on those toy bulldozers. I had a flash of my oldest son playing like that such a short time ago. And now he has a son who will soon be playing there!

Also, I used ot have dreams of my younger son as a young boy and wake up nearly crying. “There you are; that’s what you were like!

Coloma's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille

Yes…this was something that came up with a pair of friends recently…they have been jaded by their experiences.I have had plenty of hardship too, all the usual life stuff you have mentioned, but remain trusting and open and happy.
Is it resilience, attitude, nature or a combo plate of all of those? Don’t know, but I am proud that I still view the majority of humanity as good and am not embittered, a bad place to be stuck in.

anartist's avatar

@janbb, perhaps, like the old War games movie, the only way to win is not to play.
Clip of that scene:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHWjlCaIrQo

SuperMouse's avatar

I died a little the day I lost my mother. I died a little when I left my home town never to return again. I die a little every time my boyfriend pushes up to a door that he can’t open, or a counter he can’t see over, or someone lets a door shut on him.

When it comes to my kids growing and not wanting to kiss me goodbye or hold hands in front of their friends, I can’t really describe it as “dying” a little. That feels like the natural course of things so it doesn’t really impact me in that way.

anartist's avatar

@SuperMouse I was lucky when I lost my mother. She lived as long as she wanted to, 87, even longer, to attend to unfinished business. She died a natural peaceful death at home surrounded by loving family. I felt like she entered me when she died, and she will never leave me. I still miss her and I still cry sometimes, , but it, too, seems like “the natural course of things”

prolificus's avatar

Yes. A part of me dies whenever I realize the fairytale isn’t real, and when I discover parts of my reality is just a fairytale. In many ways, my life had been killed off in chunks and pieces over time. Yet, in other ways, it has been reborn.

Sometimes I feel like I’m in constant mourning for the parts of my dearly departed self. Sometimes the mourning outweighs the celebration of newbirth. I don’t know if it’s because I’m sentimental or if I have a hard time saying goodbye.

SuperMouse's avatar

@anartist I felt that way when my grandmother died. She was 91 and died surrounded by family after a very full life. My mom wasn’t even 40 yet when she died, and she left behind a husband and six children from 15 all the way down to 2 years old.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

We all die a little every day, bit by bit until the big sleep comes and puts us out of all the accumulated pain caused by thousands of littles death throughout our lifetime.

majorrich's avatar

The wife unit ordered me to apologize about openly talking about my soldiering days. I regret burdening you all with that bit of my past. It is my own burden to bear. I sometimes feel a little less human when I think about it. These men had families too. That is her feeling on the subject. I can’t take back a word written, but beg forgiveness.

janbb's avatar

There is of course, the “little death” of 18th century terminology, but that’s, of course, a whole ‘nother thing.

prolificus's avatar

@majorrich – I don’t see a need to apologize. It’s part of your reality – nothing to keep secret or carry alone.

liminal's avatar

@majorrich I agree with prolificus. I thank you for sharing. It is your truth and worthy of remembrance.

anartist's avatar

@janbb by that you mean sleep, right?

definitive's avatar

Yes I believe we ‘die a little’ when we have significant life changes and experience the feelings of ‘loss’.

My son is 17 years old and obviously becoming more independent…he doesn’t have time for his mum like he used to…so yes a part of me has died a little…feeling a ‘loss’ for the little boy that he was.

I separated from my ex husband after 18 years together…my choice and it is still all very amicable. I feel a sense of ‘loss’ and yearning to have that ‘settled’ feeling again that I did have a some point with him. So yes that person I was has ‘died a little’.

But it’s about holding onto the good memories is it not…and striving to make new ones.

janbb's avatar

@anartist Um no – it was an allusion to orgasm, specifically ejaculation.

Chongalicious's avatar

When someone tries to have their way with you and you’re trying your damndest to fight them off; you die a little inside. But at the same time it allows you to grow and be stronger and wiser.

lillycoyote's avatar

Yes, it is possible to die a little. I’ve had a number of experiences that killed me a little, killed little, and some not so little, parts of me. When I watched my brother lose his mind, he was eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia, when my mother died, when my father died. Those kind of things kill a little part of you, and they kill a little part of your world (and it is possible to kill a world a little), and they kill your hopes, and dreams and expectations a little. When my brother became ill it kind of killed my expectations and hopes for his future and having a relationship with him for the rest of our lives, hopes for nieces and nephews, hopes for seeing what he would accomplish with that incredible mind and sense of humor of his. The schizophrenia killed more than just “a little” bit of all of us.

anartist's avatar

@janbb I believe it can also refer to sleep—but this is the first time I have heard of La petite mort as you used it. Learn sumpin’ new ev’ry day.

anartist's avatar

@lillycoyote cannot you have a relationship with your brother when he is ill, even if not as rewarding as it could have been?
And are there no “little births” in your life to compensate for some of the little deaths?
Life is change, deaths and births every day. Sometimes it is just harder to see births through the rubble of the deaths.

lillycoyote's avatar

@anartist He was always absolutely resistant to treatment and it is very difficult to deal with unmedicated psychotic people, even when you love them, maybe more difficult because you love them. Anyway, he’s basically MIA. We haven’t seen him in over 15 years, though we have sort “heard of him” through other sources, people who have picked him up hitchhiking, different sort of things. The last we heard was about 5 or 6 years ago when we got some medical bills. He is one of the vast legion of homeless mentally ill and has no permanent address, so he uses the address of the house we grew up in, where I live now.

Coloma's avatar

Has anyone ever read Judith Vorchsts (sp?)

‘Necessary Losses.’

Excellent book..read it years ago and was very good!

janbb's avatar

Judith Viorst.

Coloma's avatar

@janbb

Lol…well sunk that one didn’t I? haha

thriftymaid's avatar

Yes. Sometimes, after a long time, that part that died may begin to feel again.

lillycoyote's avatar

@Coloma I think I have that one around somewhere, Necessary Losses. My mother read it after my brother’s diagnosis, though I never did. She found it very helpful, I think.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Coloma -I couldn’t agree with yuou more :)

meagan's avatar

Sure. If your kidney goes out, you die a little ;)

Coloma's avatar

I want to die peacefully in my hot tub. Wine and cheesecake in hand. lololol

Jeremycw1's avatar

yes… just listen to lady gaga

anartist's avatar

whisper—@janbb were you a penguin a few hours ago? Do you switch costumes often?—whisper

anartist's avatar

@lillycoyote because he has remembered that address and you are still there, you may be able to be there for him at the worst of times or the last of times so he won’t die homeless and unknown. Just imagine losing all awareness of him because he no link whatsoever to your world in the present.

lillycoyote's avatar

@anartist That’s what I’m hoping for. I inherited the house from my father and that’s the reason I will never, ever sell it. I may be my only chance of seeing him again. And my only chance of hearing of him. And, @anartist, thank you so very much for your kind and thoughtful concern.

janbb's avatar

@anartist And now I’m back.

aprilsimnel's avatar

That has been happening since conception, has it not? Every day, you do die a little.

Draconess25's avatar

Yes, I do believe that you can die a little at a time. But seeing as death is a new beginning….as painful as it is, it is a form of renewal.

Supacase's avatar

I died a little during my most significant episode of major depression. I never knew bottom was that far down.

My life is now better than I could have possibly anticipated at that time. Many “little births” have happened, probably several that would not have if that painful part of my life had never occurred, but there is still a little piece of me that is dead. I imagine it as a single dead rose – brown, brittle and head bowed – in the middle of a field wildflowers and green grass.

anartist's avatar

@Supacase this is so moving and eloquent. May your field grow strong new plants and be filled with life!

SeventhSense's avatar

There’s an old saying that within the heart of the son lies the death of the father. I think there is a mystery and a brilliance to this process whereby one births their own demise. Yet it is a destroyer like no other with a velvet glove. And the likes of which one will succumb to willingly while he will wax and the parent wane. Because a parent knows they are without guile in their indifference but are just growing up. Resist it though and one will see guile and what’s worse the frustration of their child. But in the process of dying a little we relinquish attachment and grow more in freedom and joy through compassion.

Draconess25's avatar

@Supacase Do the wildflowers include dandelions? Cause I think they’re really pretty & they remind me of the sun!

anartist's avatar

The king is dead. Long live the king.

Supacase's avatar

@Draconess25 Definitely dandelions! That is the first “flower” my daughter ever gave me. When I was little I could never understand why people got so pissed when those pretty yellow flowers grew in their yard.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Supacase and they are edible too!

Draconess25's avatar

@Supacase Did you know that they’re actually beneficial to some plants? Like cabbages!

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Draconess25 Now I didn’t know that. Can you grow cabbages in a greenhouse?

Draconess25's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I’m not quite sure….Maybe!

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther