Tonight, when going to bed, my husband and I turned on the television and YouTube. We watched our regular channels, including Ask A Mortician, hosted by Caitlin Doughty. She talked about a real and fascinating brain disorder, Cotard’s Syndrome. So, are you human, vampire or the walking dead?
Caitlin Doughty has a unique way of explaining a complicated subject and turning it into a simplistic way of understanding. I love how she expresses herself and uses her humor to take something morbid and make it relatable. For that reason, I had to know more.
We often associate Death with the Grim Reaper or a dark silhouette. However, its origin and appearance are quite different than we know, and the name is Azrael.
The Origin of Death
Did you know Death was an angel? Having a being the representative of Death is part of many cultures, but here we are focusing on Death’s relatively old portrayal. It is part of Islam, Jewish, and Catholic faiths.
In Norse, the goddess Hel is the Underworld ruler and is, by definition, Death. In Greek as well as Roman mythology, Thanatos is the one to bring Death upon humans. Those are the bearer of the end of life and the beginning of the afterlife.
It starts from the idea of being in a confined place such as a grave by mistake. It’s a fear of premature death.
Six Feet Deep
For as long as I can remember, I have had a deep fear of being buried alive. More specifically, I was worried that the people around me would find me in the form of suspended animation. Resulting in not being able to tell that I was really alive, and they would think I was dead and bury me.
And then I would come to in a dark coffin with little oxygen and not being able to move. I would terrorize myself with this thought while trying to go to sleep at night. Why would I do that? Well, I have always been fascinated by the macabre, even when it scares the hell out of me.
“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” — Yoda, Star Wars
What Is Your Greatest Fear?
When Alexa first asked what I thought about doing a theme of phobias among the writers of GBM, I admit for a moment I paused. To explain what scares us each the most is not only different for each of us, but it is also intimate and personal.
However, each and every one of us has a fear. We may hold it close to our hearts but it is always there, lurking in the shadows or sometimes it is brazenly in the light. It can appear to us when our eyes are closed tight, or when we are wide eyed and quite aware.
So I want to apologize to our subscribers. Not only have I not written an
article in a while. Sorry, life happened! But also I’m about to go into a
death-related rant. I apologize. On with the rant!
The Death Expert Is Back
Now, as our usual readers know, I am Gothic Bite Magazine‘s Death Expert, which means I write articles about death and whatnot. However, it has come to my attention that the media: television, movies, books, among other platforms, love to make anything related to death, evil.
And, as a Death Positivity Advocate, this irritates me. These platforms and services are why people in this part of the world, i.e., Western society, have death anxiety.
The visual arts are art forms such as painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, photography, video, filmmaking, design, crafts, and architecture. Many artistic disciplines involve aspects of the visual arts as well as arts of other types. — Wikipedia
A Moment of Passing
A while back, Alyssa Monks shared moving insights in her TEDx Talk on art. She talked about how she tried another painting style set in nature, to rekindle her flame after her mother’s passing.
gave me pause to reflect on creative writing as another act of art that
penetrates the unknown. Specifically, it conveys the importance of allowing
life to freely grace itself into the work. Letting nature’s truths on creation
and death, on love and loss, reveal themselves in a more pure, unvarnished way.
“The movement seeks to eliminate the silence around death-related topics, decrease anxiety surrounding death, and encourages more diversity in end of life care options available to the public.” — Wikipedia
Life Is Impermanent
I was initially going to write an article on “green funerals,” but I thought I’d do something different. You see, I can rant for hours about all the different ways you can handle your body after you die.
How to plan your funeral before you die, and so on. However, I think it would be beneficial to talk about why I find the Death Positivity Movement so important.