I don't fear death, but I do fear the how, when and well.. whether I'm going to Heaven, Hell or somewhere in between?
I might not fear it so much, but all the crap organized religion has pumped into my head about death and the afterlife...well sort of puts the fear of God in you. Really, if you think about it, religion should help clarify and soothe my fears, but it doesn't. On top of all that crap, add in all the
statistics, studies, research and probabilities the media and the medical community pump into my overloaded brain about how, why and
where I'm going to die and well it's time for a trip to the funny farm. Can you blame me?
I know I really shouldn't care how I die, but I do. I wish I could narrow the possibilities down to one or two possible causes of death. But if you keep up with what the media presents me, it's all going to kill me. The air is toxic, the food is poisoned. If it isn't poisoned then somebody wiped their dirty crap infested hands all over it and that will kill me. Statistics, studies and more studies. Will I die of heart failure, die of a strange unknown disease, get my head blown off by some crazed gunman?
As for the question if I'm going to Heaven or Hell? I'm not sure if I want to go to either.
First, there are a couple of things about Heaven that really bother me. It's this whole checking in at the pearly gates thing. It sounds a lot like the be good till Christmas list that Santa Claus kept. Santa started a new list every year, destroyed the old one and you got to start the new year clean. God why he keeps it for a lifetime. I don't like the idea of God having a permanent record of all those evil things that I did. Another thing, I'm not sure I want to relive all those moments just to get into a place that I'll be wearing a white skirt, two pretty wings, floating daintily through the clouds and playing the harp. Doesn't sound so cool to me. Actually sounds, well... gay. You know it's amazing Christians are so against gays, yet when they die they end up spending eternity floating around for eternity looking, well...quite gay. Heaven would be a little more appealing if I could wear some cool clothes, play a cool instrument like maybe the electric guitar, and fly around with a jet-pack instead of fairy wings. Now that would be the way to spend eternity. Not sure Heaven's quite the fit for me.
The thing is..I just don't want to spend my entire lifetime wondering and worrying. I not only wanted some answers for myself, but I wanted some answers about death and dying for all my readers as well. So I decided to talk to someone. Someone that would have some answers. I contacted - The Grim Reaper.
Here is my interview I hope it helps.
Me: Hello...Mr. Reaper...I'm glad you agreed to this interview.
Grim Reaper: Thank You..Greg. It's good to be here. I've never really been interviewed before. Most people run pretty quickly when they see me.
Me: Yes...I must say that was my first thought. But, your guarantee that I'd live through the interview helped.
Grim Reaper: Don't forget about our little agreement...should things not go favorably for me...why my sickle is at hand. Another thing, I have a full day ahead of me. Satan and God have little patience for failure. When they ask for a soul to be delivered, why it had better be delivered. Yep... there's lots of souls to collect and there is no rest for the wicked. So you have...well about fifteen minutes.
The Grim Reaper strokes his sickle as if it were a loved pet. I shift from side to side, take a deep breathe. My heart slows to a normal pace. Will curiosity kill the Greg?
Me: Yes, I understand. Could you tell us a little bit about your job?
Grim Reaper: Thank you for asking me here. First, I am the ultimate authority on death. Everyone has their time and when it comes, I'm there to collect their souls.
Me: So we do have souls?
Grim Reaper: Yes.
Me: How do you determine when someone should...well die?
Grim Reaper: I'm really just sort of like the messenger. God makes that determination. Who lives...who dies. When they die...how they die. Then I get dispatched. Some souls don't like the ruling...they try to fight it, but eventually they all are going to either Heaven or Hell.
Me: What can people do to live longer? Should they eat healthier? Reduce stress? What one piece of advice would you give people wanting to live longer lives?
Grim Reaper: I take bribes. You can sell your soul to the devil to get an extension...although you pay for it in the long run. God...who knows. You know you can eat healthy, reduce stress, but in the end you know you're going to die. Actually if God wants you to live longer and your kidney's are all shriveled up, well that's what miracles are for. So really there isn't a whole lot you can do.
Me: What do most people die from?
Grim Reaper: No doubt - acts of God. You know all this worrying about eating healthy, reducing stress, exercising, really it's all crap. Listen I've been around since the beginning. When the man says die. You die. Man..let me tell you when he gets his gets his panties bunched up and let's loose Mother Nature. I've got my hands full collecting souls. He likes to test your faith. Back in the old days a lamb would suffice. I guess he got bored. Now he's into grand displays of his power. Hurricane's, tornadoes, famine and just all around mayhem. I'd love to stay and chat, but I have work to do so, one more question.
Me: What am I going to die of and when?
Grim Reaper: It appears that this article will anger God greatly. God attempts to drown you with a sudden torrential downpour situated over your home. You of course are aware of this because of this interview. You run from the house taking with you your favorite pair of scissors. As you are dashing for your car which your wife has already started you trip and jam the scissors into the stereo. This locks the stereo into playing a Justin Beiber DVD that you'd been meaning to throw away. You back away from the apartment complex. Get on the highway with Justin Beiber driving you, your cats and your wife insane. The cats finally freak and attack you for not throwing away the DVD when you promised. You are scratched and mauled. The car careens out of control you hit a tree and the air bags inflate. Bloodied you stumble from the car. You hear a shot. Your wife laughs. A bullet rips through your coat. Your wife has finally gotten sick of your shit and hired an assassin. Another shot ricochets off the hood of the car. You run and escape the country. You end up on an uncharted tropical island. Ten years go by and the natives that you thought were vegetarians, turn out to be cannibals. They capture you, stick you in a large black pot to cook and eat you. God angered that you got away from him smites the cannibals with a tidal wave. It also was designed to kill you. However, since you are in the large black pot, it takes you away. You sail for several years on the ocean, fighting off sharks, starvation and dehydration. When the pot finally hits land you are greeted as a hero. A banquet is held in your honor for defying death so many times. You are given awards and millions of people send you money. A twenty-one gun salute is held in your honor. One of the guns unfortunately has real ammo. One of the bullets ricochets off the planes doing a fly-by in your honor striking you in the foot. You fall backwards...
Me: OK...so do I ever die.
Grim Reaper: Sorry..love to finish the story, but got to go. Maybe we pick this up some other time.