The Scott Shaw Blog

Be Positive

People Who Died

There was a great song that was written and recorded by Jim Carroll and released in 1980, titled, “People Who Died.” If you’re into late 1970s early ‘80s New Wave, check it out. In it he described people who he knew that had died, “They were all my friends, and they died!” He too passed away in 2009.

Certainly, as we have passed through this period of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are constantly reminded of death. A lot of us, including myself, have lost people that we were close to. For others who have not lost anyone, the stories of the death are on the news every day.

There have been other pandemics. The 1918 Spanish Flu is believed to have killed about fifty million people. Though that number, as is the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, is probably much larger than the actual reported deaths.

Interestingly, and a fact many people do not know, the Spanish Flu did not originate in Spain. In was simply given that name because, at the time, Spain was the only European country with a free press and they were the first to describe and define that disease.

Though not of absolute certainty, the pandemic is believed to have actually been born, where it was first reported, in Haskell County, Kansas. From there, it then spread to the army based at, Fort Riley, Kansas and from there onto the world.

Disease, leading to death in the world is nothing new. Back when I was an undergraduate, focusing my studies on Cultural Geography, I was taught that whenever a society becomes over-populated three quarters of it eventually dies off due to starvation or diseases. This is simply the way of nature.

As the human race has evolved, however, we, of course, have found ways to countermand this process. This is one of the main reasons why this earth is so over populated. Along comes something like the COVID-19 pandemic, however, and we are reminded we are
not in control; nature is.

But, all of this does not change the fact that a lot of people have died. Think about how many people are dying in India right now. So many that they cannot even cremate them all. To all those people who have died, they have left someone behind that loved them, that misses them, that cries due to their passing.

We are all going to die. But, while we are alive, that concept is so hard to fathom. When people we know die, we certainly feel the loss. It is we who are most likely in more pain than the person who passed away. We are in pain, as we no longer have them.

Think about all the people who have died since the beginning of time. Think of all the tears shed. But now, think about all those people who have died and have simply been forgotten. Think about all the people who loved them—all those people that are also gone. Go to any cemetery, look at the old gravestones that are dated a hundred years ago or more, is anyone still grieving for that person? They lived. They died. More than likely they left someone who loved them behind, but then that person also died. They are gone; everyone is gone.

No one wants to die. Even the people who are suicidal simply wish for their life to be better. The sad truth is, we are most likely all going to be taken away, wishing we were not going anywhere. People are going to be taken from us that we wish would stay. There’s no cure for this. This is simply the reality of life. You can pretend you can prepare for this, but can you? When you meet death face-to-face, either with you personally or with someone you really love, you will never really know how you will react until you react. But then, it’s too late as death has found you.