Coffin

Coffin: (n) a long, narrow box in which a corpse is buried or cremated.

Staring down into the face of my older brother, who was quite dead, lying in a coffin, motionless, with eyes closed.

It freaked me out–mainly because I was staring at the bier. That’s another word for coffin. Now I’m just trying to show off. I tend to do so when I’m nervous. And looking at a coffin made me nervous.

Until that moment, I did not realize that I suffer from claustrophobia. Even though I was supposed to be the strong brother to support my nephew, sister-in-law and all the other relatives, I temporarily had to excuse myself and walk away to try to regain my state of mind.

All I could think about was lying in that coffin, scrunched, and having the lid shut down on my face. Every time that vision came to my brain, my heart started to pound and I found it difficult to breathe.

I was embarrassed.

I wanted to make sure no one observed my panic attack, so I found a private room and stepped inside. Unable to locate a light switch, I stood in the dark, finding no comfort whatsoever from my vision of horror.

Even though I am certain there was nobody in the room with me, I sensed a thought floating across the blackened space, landing in my consciousness. It wasn’t exactly verbalized, but it was very comforting.

The notion translated to my irrational thinking was, “Keep in mind, when you go in the coffin, you don’t have to breathe anymore.”

I laughed. It was so true. By the time I was fitted–or unfitted–for this box, I would be without the need for much of anything.

And of course, if it still freaked me out, they could always burn me up.

 

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Bier

Bier: (n) a movable frame for a casket

Dictionary B

If you want to creep people out, just start talking about death.

Matter of fact, in the pursuit of bizarre conclusions, I have even brought the subject up at a party, and watched the room go from appalled to reflective, culminating in depression.

There are three things that are true about death:

1. It is the only thing that is certain, that we are certainly unwilling to admit is inevitable.

2. Everybody talks about an afterlife, but no one is really in a hurry to get there.

3. All humans are scared shitless of it–even though sometimes we pretend we’re not.

Sooner or later, we get there.

  • If it’s sooner, we call it a tragedy.
  • If it’s later, we usually say something like, “Well, it was his time…”

Therefore, it’s best that we take a moment and consider the quality of our lives–because each of us will someday end up hauled away on a bier to a place where we will not return, to go where we are not acquainted.

So I guess the best way to end this little essay is to conclude that while we are waiting, enjoy each other … and have a beer.

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