Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Dia de los Muertos at Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Dia de los Muertos at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery is pretty much my favorite day of the year to take pics! I posted a few of these on instagram already (@drollgirl and @ohyespleaseandthankyou), but here are bigger, juicier pics.

So the whole death thing.  Sigh.  It's pretty harsh, but someone recently told me that if there were no death, life wouldn't have much meaning.  So there's that.  I guess knowing there is an end makes us treasure what we have while we have it.  Or at least we should!  And it's a good thing to celebrate those that we have lost.  

I don't want to make this into a huge downer post, but I recently received word that my uncle Neil had been hospitalized.  He had suffered a few falls in recent history and they were checking him out when they determined that he had stage 4 cancer.  This news just came out of nowhere.  Neil wasn't a huge fan of doctors and didn't frequent them often. I remember at one point he had some kind of bump on his forehead that was bugging him. Instead of going to a doctor to have it checked out, he took a buckskin knife to it and carved it out on his own.  Just taking care of business.  Lol.  What a nut.  Needless to say, after his wife found out what he did, she took him to the emergency room where they patched him up and told him to NEVER DO THAT AGAIN.  

So this crap news about having stage 4 cancer was extremely difficult for Neil, his wife, his kids and his family members to hear.  Just totally shocking.  The doctors said Neil probably had 4 months to live, and that he should get his affairs in order and decide if any kind of treatment should be pursued.  Calls were flying back and forth amongst family members -- what do we do, do we try chemo, do we get second or third opinions, should the one family member with a PhD start researching this type of cancer and treatment or study options, what do we DO?????  Everyone was in a tizzy and there were no good answers. Unfortunately at one point my aunt called my dad to get his opinion on treatment options, and my dad said, "Well he is going to die anyway, so I don't see the point of trying chemotherapy."  UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.  Maybe my dad had a valid point, but there had to be a more sensitive way of delivering that news.  But everyone was just so distraught and didn't know what to say or think or do.  

Neil was near death while my sister and I were on vacation.  We were having the best time ever, and randomly I would think of Neil and his family, and that while we were out having a grand old time, Neil and family were crying, depressed, and trying to plan and prepare for his end.  I felt so guilty for their pain, and for my pleasure.  Just awful.  

After receiving word that my uncle had passed away, I went online to read his obituary, which said:

Neil XXXXX was born on August 16, 1939 and passed away on Sunday, October 9, 2016.
Neil was a resident of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma at the time of his passing.
He was married to Patricia XXXXX.

That's it.  WHAT THE FUCK.  Can you imagine living 77 years and that is ALL that is written about you?!  Not that summing up his life in a few paragraphs would have totally encapsulated him as a person, but it sure would've been better than what he got! So depressing.

Then again it is impossible to sum up someone that you loved in a few sentences, so maybe people just opt out of that whole formal obituary thing and honor their loved ones in their own way.  

Well anywhoo, cheers to a great uncle that was loved and cherished, and to all those that we have loved and lost.  



Lorena said...

As usual, your Dia de los Muertos pictures are beautiful. I have always thought that this holiday is the way Mexicans say: "Fuck you" to death.
I am sorry to hear about your uncle J and indeed: life would have no meaning if there was no death...

cerebral e said...

I'm sorry to hear about your uncle. That story about cutting a lump out of his head is evidence that he deserves a way better obituary.