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I was watching one of my favorite [WW2] movies the other day and in it a general was addressing a group of fighter pilots dealing with the chronic fear & anxiety of their mortality during warfare. He suggested they might as well consider themselves 'dead already' and 'move on' rather than clouding their heads with it.
It's well known many of us after surviving a HA, are walking around with chronically 'unsettled feelings of mortality' within (to say the least). I'm wondering if we would be better off the sooner we accept, [as all humans WILL], 'no matter what we do we will die'. That doesn't mean not to embrace a mindful way of living, just that obsessing over every little thing won't change that.
P.S.: I know that's easy to 'say'!
yarn007, January 24, 2020 11:41pm EST
I have watched a ton of WW2 movies. There is a bravado in many of those types of movies. They also reflect a different generation of thinking. What I find interesting in those movies is that the soldiers in WW2 knew there was a good chance they might not make it. Death was on their mind most of the time.
When I think about my HA and having "unsettled feelings of mortality'" I realized it is because my "bubble has burst". We all know that "someday" we will die. When the bubble burst we have to confront the facts that our death might be more sooner than later and given our current culture and generation that is particularly hard to deal with. Given all the medical advances we expect to live longer and better lives.
Long and short of it, I agree with what you are saying. Of course it is easier said than done as we all know.
Djwel, January 25, 2020 11:35am EST
That's unsettling & encouraging at the same time; can that be? Acceptance is huge when it comes to having a HA and open heart surgery. I think for me, it's difficult because of the people around me - making assumptions & saying "stupid" things; not knowing what it is they are talking about. I never knew much about heart disease before now; brother, am I learning a lot now that it happened to me. If I think about it too much, I am overwhelmed - which is not good for my heart. So, yes - I am in agreement with you guys.
seattledave, January 25, 2020 11:53am EST
Another good topic !
I'm not so much concerned about dying. That's a given; one of the two life guarantees. My concern (unsettled feelings) are about how it will happen. I hope whenever it happens it's quick and I don't see it coming. The ideal death. On the other hand, the idea of a long drawn out painful, frightening end of life has no appeal to me. Nor do I want to stick around if I can't take care of myself, basic stuff. In those 2 cases, more would not be better, imho. That's my real fear. But that's me.
I think there's a paradox to life; On one hand we're told to live each day as though its our last. On the other hand, we're offered 25 or 30 year mortgages. What gives ? If today is my last, why would I want a 30 yr mortgage ? No wonder we're (society) a bit confused and neurotic, eh.
Mb120918, January 25, 2020 2:15pm EST
Yes, this really is THE TOPIC. Like Dave I don't care about dying, not a surprise thing that is going to occur. But, how we get there is what my whole anxiety is about. What the heart attack taught me is I will linger. Taking drugs, terrified of the unexplained twinges and pains not because I will die, but because I probably won't die.. It will just get worse and worse until I can't take care of myself anymore and I just keep suffering. This is what scares me and there isn't a therapist anywhere that can fix this fear.
Djwel, January 25, 2020 2:37pm EST
Well, i didn't know I was having a heart attack -- thought I had the flu or something. That concerns me; that I won't know it if it happens again. I guess I knew enought to go to the ER; prompted by a phone call to my husband.
Surely I would know - you think?
Mb120918, January 25, 2020 3:36pm EST
No, I didn't know either. I had jaw pain and then a bad headache. My husband called the EMTs when I had trouble breathing. HAs in women are different. My cardiologist said it would happen the same way but I don't agree with him. I guess it would if it is the same exact blockage. Hope neither of us has to experience this again. But, more info is necessary for women.
Djwel, January 25, 2020 6:27pm EST
Thank you for your reply; every woman I have talked with (at rehab) has had different symptoms. I find it hard to believe that it would be the same; but don't care to find out either. The ONE thing that is common is the trouble breathing, accompanying the other symptoms, I think.
Djwel, January 25, 2020 9:47pm EST
LuckyDucky, January 26, 2020 10:46am EST
Great topic. I've found in the last few years that if I remember my death daily, I can live a much better life...especially in helping others.
Momento Mori - Remember Your Death. https://dailystoic.com/history-of-memento-mori/
Mb120918, January 26, 2020 1:13pm EST
Thanks for the link to memento Mori. It made for interesting reading. Also, I like the idea of this concept.