Another Post About Death & Dying or Why Facebook at 6 am is Such a Bad Idea

Just because writing and thinking about politics and current events had been so depressing,  I’m moving on to a lighter topic: 

… Death and Dying …

My friend, via Facebook, showed me this article. Gosh! I thought: bad things do happen in the world! Scientists (and medical scientists, at that; who are supposed to be from the “healing profession) having a failure of empathy!

To cap off an interesting morning, another friend showed me this and, yet another one, this.

The world is just full of horror stories

Then I remembered Kevin Carter.

Kevin Carter was so cute. Check out his picture from Wikipedia:

South African photojournalist killed himself when he was 33, just before winning the Pulitzer prize. The Wikipedia article said he had alimony problems. Why couldn't he have waited to marry me instead?

South African photojournalist killed himself when he was 33, just before winning the Pulitzer prize. The Wikipedia article said he had alimony problems. Why couldn’t he have waited to marry me instead?

 

I’m a sucker for guys with that kind of  unkempt look. Very Indiana Jones meet Ryan-Gosling’s-role-in-The-Notebook! And he’s a great photographer too.

Child & vulture during the Sudan famine, 1990's by Kevin Carter. Won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature photography in 1994.  Prior to this: On 27 July 1994 Carter drove his way to the Braamfonte near the Field and Study Centre, an area where he used to play as a child, and took his own life by taping one end of a hose to his pickup truck’s exhaust pipe and running the other end to the driver's side window. He died of carbon monoxide poisoning, aged 33. Portions of Carter's suicide note read: "I am depressed ... without phone ... money for rent ... money for child support ... money for debts ... money!!! ... I am haunted by the vivid memories of killings and corpses and anger and pain ... of starving or wounded children, of trigger-happy madmen, often police, of killer executioners ... I have gone to join Ken if I am that lucky." (photo and info from: http://en.wikipedia.org)

Child & vulture during the Sudan famine, 1990’s by Kevin Carter.
Won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature photography in 1994.
Prior to this:
“On 27 July 1994 Carter drove his way to the Braamfonte near the Field and Study Centre, an area where he used to play as a child, and took his own life by taping one end of a hose to his pickup truck’s exhaust pipe and running the other end to the driver’s side window. He died of carbon monoxide poisoning, aged 33. Portions of Carter’s suicide note read: ‘ I am depressed … without phone … money for rent … money for child support … money for debts … money!!! … I am haunted by the vivid memories of killings and corpses and anger and pain … of starving or wounded children, of trigger-happy madmen, often police, of killer executioners … I have gone to join Ken if I am that lucky.’
(photo and info from: http://en.wikipedia.org)

 

And then the thought: How could he have committed suicide?

Was he so overwhelmed by the death and the pathos and the killing of innocents all around him? So he decided to check out?

Well boo hoo Kevin Carter, one less cute guy in the world.  Another reason for me to be depressed.

***

“The heaviest of burdens crushes us, we sink beneath it, it pins us to the ground. But in love poetry of every age, the woman longs to be weighed down by the man’s body. The heaviest of burdens is therefore simultaneously an image of life’s most intense fulfillment. The heavier the burden, the closer our lives come to the earth, the more real and truthful they become. Conversely, the absolute absence of burden causes man to be lighter than air, to soar into heights, take leave of the earth and his earthly being, and become only half real, his movements as free as they are insignificant. What then shall we choose? Weight or lightness?”
― Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightnesss of Being

 

that death alone would cleanse them
of the sin for which they died

— Erica Jong, For All Those Who Died (poem from the book “Witches”)

 

Let me sleep, for my soul is intoxicated with love

— Kahlil Gibran,  The Beauty of Death XIV

 

 

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One Comment

  1. That’s a wonderful Milan Kundera quote.

    I read The Unbearable Lightnesss of Being when I was a kid. I barely remember the details but I do remember that it made me feel like the world was at the same time alien and familiar. He had this talent for making painful decisions and dichotomies clear, you know?

    I should go back and re-read that.

    Reply

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