At what point does a person become a corpse? I know there’s a scientific answer to this, but when does it truly happen, for the victim I mean. When the eyes close? When the heart stops beating? When the brain dies?
Of course, that all depends on the context of their death in the first place. Were they decapitated? Did they fall from an airplane? Were they drowned? These all come with variations on when that moment occurs. I suppose it’s all up to the person dying. They should ultimately get to decide. For goodness sake, elderly couples in movies are famous for choosing when they go.
As humans, we’re all extremely similar, so there must be some significant point at which we become less than. We’ve all got the same parts, arms, legs, eyes, noses, with a few exceptions of course. We run off of the same organs and atomic measurements that keep us from randomly exploding into particles without a moment’s notice. Bastardizations of these elements are what we use to determine the differences between us. Our hair color, whether or not we were born with all of our parts. That’s what people say is what makes us different, though I think they’re just trying to fool themselves into thinking that just because someone likes cats and hates dogs and their neighbor thinks the opposite, that they’re truly different in some significant way.
I don’t see it. We’re not special enough to be different to the point where it matters. We’re all born, we do what we can with the existence thrust upon us, and we all die. Death is a promise.
What about children? Do they ever truly die? I can only imagine their little brains cook up some kind of imagery to protect them that then never fades even as their corporeal being does. And those that lose them do something similar.
We act like it’s totally normal to preserve grandma in a box that costs hundreds of dollars only to be seen for a couple of hours and then buried for the rest of eternity. What makes a dead person so special once there’s nothing actively working behind their fleshy exterior that’s making them special? Memories only get us so far these days, especially when something like 30% of them are manufactured by our own brains and aren’t even real.
I’ve been thinking about this for a long time now. The news reports bodies found, then switches the wording once they hear that the victim has recovered in the hospital. What of the soul? Some say they’ve seen themselves as their soul leaves their bodies. Where is that separation, I wonder?
Have you ever seen a body? Not something mutilated beyond recognition, just…a body. Maybe it was at a funeral, or while on a stroll in the park one day. Maybe you had a tough childhood and that question just brought to the surface your father, for whom you’ve barely spared two brain cells since you saw his skull paint a Jason Pollock on the wall of his study. Somehow, they seem as if they’re not human, although it was only moments ago that they were.
Odd, don’t you think; how the human brain is so quick to turn life off like that? How it can see one thing, label it “alive” and another thing and label it “dead.” I’m sure you don’t care about the sob story behind why I feel like I need to ask these questions, but do you truly need it to understand why I feel this way? I’m human. Someday I’ll die. Someday I’ll be able to understand what it is that separates the living from the dead. Someday I’ll be able to know what the line between life and death looks like. I’ll finally know, you know. But I kinda want to know what that’s like before it happens. So I can prepare, you know? So I can know when it’s about to happen and I’m not half naked or in an otherwise compromising situation. I don’t want the police to see me in my underwear.
Then again, I suppose by then I’ll have no shame to have. The only shame experienced will be theirs that will also quickly evaporate as they pass into the next life.
That concept: life after death, it’s daunting, isn’t it?
The thought that even after we work, toil, suffer, and die, we have to do it all again, only the roads are made of gold? Or worse; hellfire? Can you imagine anything worse than finally experiencing the sweet release and relaxation of death only to end up in another universe with another set of rules you have to learn and another master to serve?
Religion is a funny thing. We spend our entire lives planning to have some great reward if we behave once we’re gone, but once it finally happens, the consciousness that cooked up those ideas is severed. Think about it. All it took is for one dude to have a bunch of friends that thought he was cool enough to write about to start the entirety of Christianity. By the time it reached us in the 21st century, it was so warped, twisted, and fucked up we believed without hesitation that he was a miracle worker that’s one of several deities to have stood against death itself and survived.
Yeah, he’s not the only one to have died and come back. Ever heard of any Greek god or goddess? When they weren’t fucking monsters or turning into trees, they were busy being immortal because of some cool thing that happened to them when they were a kid. And let’s not even get started on the gods, goddesses, myths, legends, and cryptids that people who aren’t wacked out white people believe in.
Pfft, I’m sorry, I realize I’m asking you a lot of questions here, but I’m truly curious. I stabbed you about an hour ago, and during previous tests it’s taken a shorter amount of time for my victims to pass than you. Do you feel it; my blade? It’s likely nicked something important given the color of your face and the pool of blood that’s been slowly forming beneath you.
Are you gone yet? Your eyes tell me no. Those dilated green orbs have been rolling around that head of yours for some time now. Don’t worry though, I’m patient. Take your time. Just, nod or blink or something just before you feel the life slip from your mind.
Last Story: My Boy
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