Thursday, September 27, 2012

Death is a Hyper-ventilation issue to me... for now

I am an avid reader who are more into thriller/mystery novels but I am open to other types of fiction or non-fiction books.  It just takes me longer then usual to read books that I do not normally touch on.

However, after slightly more then 3 weeks of treading in mucky water, each step heavier then the last and nearly half way into the book, I have to declare this; Saving Fish From Drowning by Amy Tan, will be the first book.  I am not joking when I said that I was "treading in mucky water", that is exactly how I feel every time I pick up the book to read it, I was engulfed with a senses of sadness & heaviness in my heart.  I could barely hold the book for more then 15mins before being forced to put it down otherwise it will drain all my energy in return for some depressing emotions.  I am suspecting that it is the cause for the disturbed & restless sleep for the pass weeks.

I started the book and on the 1st few pages of there were descriptions of Bibi Chen's gruesome murder, postmortem (its one thing to watch CSI and seeing them doing it on the TV but to read about the procedure in words AND seeing it in your mind is a different story) and about the new found freedom in her "limbo" or "in-between" situation.  I started to image myself being dead and in that limbo-ness state of mind, my brain started to scream with questions that I can't answer; how will I feel?  Will I be a spirit with a lot of regrets?  Or I will be one who embraces death with open arms?  How was I able to breathe when "my breath was not gone but surrounding me"? I starts to hyper-ventilate...

As I read on I came upon the following paragraph which cause me to visualize that I AM the one lying in the casket... I started to hyper-ventilate, again.  Takes me minutes to calm myself before proceeding...

"When the first part of my funeral ended, the crowd drifted down the steps of thee Young Museum and onto Tea Garden Drive.  My casket was sealed with wax, placed on dollies, and quickly wheeled to a delivery bay, where a hearse was waiting."

And to be hit by the following sentence, with me as the subject...

"Two sturdy boys on stilts held up a poster-mounted photo of me in my Himalayan hairdo.  A wreath of flowers framed my blown-up face and its too-broad smile."

I snapped the book shut, turn off the lights and went to bed, a restless one of course.

It was a couple of days later that I picked up the book again and to put it down shortly after, this goes on for almost 3 weeks.  I stopped at Chapter 6, so far the book has nothing but misfortunes, sickness & unluckiness that sets upon the group on the "Following the Buddha's Footsteps" expedition starting from the moment when they set foot on Stone Bell Temple in Yunnan; using a grottoes as a urinal which angered the tribal chief who hurled curses at them. On top of that, the story revealed that Bibi Chen's child hood was not a happy one, the tour guide Bennie believe that his family is cursed by knowing the language English and he was sure he will be the next one to be killed.  Every thing about the group is so fucking depressing & negative!

"Who wants to read stories like that?  Memoirs of sacrilege, torture and abuse, one after another - they are so difficult to read, without a speck of hope to lift you, no redeeming denouements, only the inevitable descent into the bottomless pits of humanity.

That is how I feel about this book, without a speck of hope to lift the reader up, it makes you sink down, down, deeper & deeper into the bottomless pits.

It does not help that I have reservations and does not share with others openly my feelings about Death.  I cannot imagine how life afterwards will be.  Will I be sent to the heaven where everything is eternal or will I suffer eternity pain in the burning hell?  How does one feel when you breath out your last breathe?  There was once I tried holding on to my breath for the longest time & freaked out after that.  How does it feel to be "sleeping" in the casket?  Couple of years ago I had a dream 2 nights in the row, I was outside seeing my body lying in the casket, needless to say I woke up in fear.  How will I die?  Will I die peacefully or with illness and sufferings?  Will I die a lonely old woman?  I hope NOT!  When will I die?  Tomorrow, in my 60s, 70s, 80s or?  How does it feels to be burnt and cremate in the funeral rital?  Will I feel helpless & scream while the fire engulf my body, reducing it to ashes?

Ok STOP!!! Hyper-ventilating again!!!!

*deep breath deep breath*

And I have not gone into the part on how I will feel when my love ones leaves me in future...

*deep breath deep breath*

"Can fish drown?" Rupert asked once they moved away from the fish store.

"Of course not," Bennie said. "They have gills not lungs."

"Actually," Harry said, "they can indeed drown."
"In humans who drown, the lungs filled with water, and because our lungs are incapable of filtering out usable oxygen, the persons suffocates.  That's the cause of death, lack of oxygen.  We call it drowning, because it occurs in water or with some sort of liquid."
"Fish, on the other hands, have gills that extract oxygen, but most fish have to keep moving about to bring in a lot of  water to filter enough oxygen.  If they were not able to move ... ... they would eventually suffer from oxygen deprivation and suffocate.  They drown."

If I choose to continue this book I will drown in my hyper-ventilation and die before the fishes for sure!

So with tears in my eyes and sadness in my heart I shall banish this book to the deepest darkest corner in my house.  Until the day I have the courage to read it again.

OR any kind soul out there want to take this book off my hands NOW?

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  1. Ai yo, why did your start on this book? Freak yourself out. I hyperventilated once over the death issue when I was real young when I realized that one day I would leave my loved ones too.


      This book cost me $5 I think, cheap *ooppss* good deal, cannot let it go!

  2. I read this book a long time ago... depressing, but very hard to put down. It's too realistic, maybe that's why I'm so drawn to it. It's like being scared to watch a horror movie, but being curious about it? Same feeling.

    1. Its too depressing for me, too heavy. I wanted to know what happened during the expedition but I doubt I can take it.

  3. Aiyaya Jen! I already don't like the book you read! Like you say, depressing! So if its me, I won't want to depress myself any further. The author must not had an easy time writing too. But I must say she did a darn good job making you feel like you are the story lead! But life is such. All living things will come to an end. So be happy and enjoy your time with loved ones and friends. When its time to go, go with a fulfilled heart. Not a heart filled with fear or regret for that's not the heart you want your loved ones to see. *hugs*

    1. How would you know that your heart is fulfilled? What if you THINK you had but at the very last minute you think or feel that you should have done something or do something better on some issues? There is sure to be a chance that you will still feel regret or fear.

    2. Many things in life cannot be in your control. We have to know we did our best else how do we leave the world behind? Don't be so hard on yourself ok? Buy you liang teh next time. :)

    3. I guess we have to either keep an open mind n kept the list of controllable things unchanged till the day we leave or we review the list frequently n make sure we did not leave out anything before we part this world for the other.

      Eh how u know I'm heaty fm eating all those mooncakes har? LOL

  4. I feel that it is no point thinking too much about impending death as no one besides GOD know how it will be for you. Best is to cherish each moment that you have here on earth with your love ones. I pass you some love stories/ self inspirational books to read to lift up your spirits:P

    1. Dom, thanks alot! I am feeling better after I ditched that book *ppffftttt* I dunno what to do with this book, dun wanna pass it to any one :(