Let’s Talk About Death

Life – Terror. Ecstasy. Fight. Denial. Flight. Failure. PAIN. Forgiveness. Reconciliation. Hope. Love. Peace – Death.

Truth is we are really shit at dying? Our own death and those of our loved ones. We are just not very comfortable with death and dying? The only certainty in life, we know it’s going to come yet we are NEVER really prepared.

There are centuries of theories regarding what happens to us when we die. Cultural, Spiritual, Religious, an Afterlife, life eternal, rebirth, reincarnation, heaven, hell, Valhalla, Akhirah, the Great Resurrection, eternal paradise. Many, often opposing, versions to suit, each and every, beliefs? There is even a popular option of ‘Fuck all’? Nothingness, nothing, nada, nout, is what happens to us when we die we are just GONE!.

There is much more consensus regarding the physical aspects of when someone is dying and inevitably dies? There are traceable, provable chemical and physical actions and reactions that take place that cannot be denied.


When someone is dying, their heartbeat and blood circulation slow down. The brain and organs receive less oxygen than they need and so work less well. In the days before death, people often begin to lose control of their breathing. It’s also common for people to be very calm in the hours before they die.

How do you know when death is just ‘hours’ away?

Breathing Changes: periods of rapid breathing and no breathing, coughing or noisy breaths. When a person is just hours from death, you will notice changes in their breathing: The rate changes from a normal rate and rhythm to a new pattern of several rapid breaths followed by a period of no breathing (apnea).

What is the last organ to shut down when you die?

The brain and nerve cells require a constant supply of oxygen and will die within a few minutes, once you stop breathing. The next to go will be the heart, followed by the liver, then the kidneys and pancreas, which can last for about an hour.

Does a dying person know they are dying?

A conscious dying person may know that they are dying. … A conscious dying person can know if they are on the verge of dying. Some feel immense pain for hours before dying, while others die in seconds. This awareness of approaching death is most pronounced in people with terminal conditions such as cancer.

Can a dying person hear you?

While the dying person may be unresponsive, there is growing evidence that even in this unconscious state, people are aware of what is going on around them and can hear conversations and words spoken to them, although it may feel to them like they are in a dream state

Death – The Body

So, what does it feel like to die?

How do we really know, its not like we can ask anybody!

Studies suggest that death by cardiac arrest seems to feel either like nothing, or something pleasant and perhaps slightly mystical. The moments before death were not felt to be painful.

What happens immediately after death?

Decomposition begins just several minutes after death with a process called autolysis, or self-digestion. Soon after the heart stops beating, cells become deprived of oxygen, and their acidity increases as the toxic by-products of chemical reactions begin to accumulate inside them.

Death – The (Spiritual) Soul

Clearly, it all depends on what you believe?

Some believe that Immediately after death, the soul is not clothed in a physical body but in a vaporous thumb-sized structure (linga ṡarīra). This is immediately seized by two servants of Yama, the god of death, who carry it to their master for a preliminary identity check (as long as 40 days).

The 40 days is an opportunity for judgment before God. It’s believed in Eastern Orthodox religions that the soul completes many obstacles known as the aerial toll houses. The soul passes through the aerial realm, which is home to evil spirits. … At the end of the 40 days, the soul finds its place in the afterlife. Or, in my world ‘fuck all’, you are dead ……that’s it!

Is Death Beautiful?

Everything must have its end, or there is no Beginning? Death is not the opposite of Life, but the counterpart to Birth. Death might be beautiful because it represents change.

Thinking about death can actually be a good thing.

A (more) awareness of mortality can improve physical health and help us re-prioritize our goals and values, according to a new analysis of recent scientific studies. There may be a rationale for dealing with death, actually ‘going there’ without prejudice, before we are forced to.

The older you become, by default death is never too far away. I have had to face two in the past 3 or so months. Two difficult, close relatives deaths. I do wonder about my own death, what do I want from my own dying?

I have not gone as far as ‘to plan’ my own death yet but I am aware that I should? I have witnessed deaths (recently) that I definitely would not want for any of my loved ones or myself?

End of Life Rituals

Oh he (she) would have been so pleased with such an amazing turnout?’

The amazing television dramatist and screenwriter Dennis Potter chose to end his life by delivering two final TV dramas that were ‘owed’ to the BBC and Channel 4. On 14 February 1994, Potter learned that he had terminal pancreatic cancer which had metastasised to his liver. It was thought that this was a side effect of the medication he was taking to control his psoriasis

Using a morphine and champagne cocktail as pain relief, and chain smoking, he revealed that he had named his cancer “Rupert”, after Rupert Murdoch, who he said represented so much of what he found despicable about the mass media in Britain. During the interview he claimed that if he had the strength he would kill Murdoch himself ‘as his final gift to humanity’

David Bowie, my own ultimate musical hero planned his departure meticulously. It was complex and ‘planning’ logistics started some time prior to his (actual) death? New material, some with heart-breaking videos, one last album (and singles), meticulously ‘marketing’ his final, limited edition, artistic (life) performance.

I have a theory that Bowie did not die on the 10th January 2016, as was announced to the world? I am convinced that he died a couple of days afterwards, the 11th, 12th January? Why? He was such an artist he would have wanted to read his reviews?

All that genuine love, world-wide, demonstrations of love (and loss) would have been too much of a temptation for him to resist missing it?

In my version of his death, Bowie, the master performer, the master of reinvention and reincarnation got to see all of that love and appreciation ‘we’ all have for him, and that he thoroughly deserved.

I am considering throwing a farewell party, just hours before my death? I would really love to see who would turn up, I want to see ‘my’ wonderful ‘turnout’?

And Why Not?

Thanks for Reading


Published by Riff

Husband to my inspirational, (long suffering,) wife Gail, father to two, amazing (adult) children, Aubrey & Perri, teacher, former guitarist. When I started this blog I quickly became granda(r) to my beautiful, first grandson Henderson. Grandparenting, something I was relishing but had began to believe I would not get to experience. I now have three incredible grandsons, Henderson, Fennec and just days ago Nate. I Love people. I love my family, my incredible friends, I have love(d) what I do (my Job), I love Music, Glastonbury Festival, Cars, Everton .... I love many things but, most of all, I fucking love life.

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