Shall We Talk About Death Or Sex?

I probably talk or think about death more often than others.

I don’t talk about sex as much as I do death, but is that a problem when entering the autumn years of your life?

Many people I know don’t like talking about death. Do you? Many don’t enjoy discussing sex but is it easier to talk about than death?

Is it odd or natural to think and talk about death and sex simultaneously? You tell me.

Banner for the blog post 'Shall We Talk About About Death Or Sex?'
Which one do you feel most comfortable discussing?

Once upon a time, sex was a subject people didn’t like talking about. I’m going back to my early years here when sex was a hush-hush subject, almost taboo.

There was little information available about sex while I was growing up. The reaction I once got from my elders when I asked, ‘where do babies come from because I know the stork doesn’t bring them?‘ was like watching the faces of those watching the gory scene in a horror movie. ‘Is it something about a man and a woman solving a puzzle?‘ I went on to ask.

When I asked those questions, I got looks of shock, horror and embarrassment. My grandmother walked out of the room while my mother and father tried to change the subject quickly.

Lockdown talk

During the lockdown, my partner and I talked about death. But it was only while updating our wills. We couldn’t get past the point where we would talk about our deaths and what we wanted to happen when that time came. ‘We’ll talk about that another day,’ I told myself, yet death can come to any of us anytime. Can you imagine the problems we cause by not talking to each other about death?

Although nobody likes talking about death, we read, write and watch it happening in books, on television, in theatres and cinemas. It seems natural when reading, writing or watching it, but when talking about our deaths or the death of somebody we know, there comes the point where I hope somebody else will take the lead, and the subject will quickly change.

Why am I talking about death?

I have written about death here, but the truth is that what I call the otherside of death (where the person dying is not me) is approaching; it becomes a subject we can’t avoid. I have an aunt who is nearing the end of her life.

At 95 years old, some say my aunt has had an excellent innings. She loved life, but she wouldn’t like the life she is now living. I think I followed her for the love she had for life. However, she has spent what is left of her life in a hospital bed for the last three months. Her final words to me before she went into a deep sleep were, ‘I want to go home.’

I can relate to how she feels. Whenever I have been ill and not at home, I’ve always wanted to go home. If we allow it, being in familiar surroundings can help. Well, it always works for me. But does it help when nearing our final days?

As she faded in and out of consciousness, my aunt reacted to some voices in her hospital room yet ignored others. I wondered if she could choose which voices she wanted to respond to and which she chose to ignore? Does she have any control over what she hears while her life slips away?

Why do some people die quicker than others?

Truth be known, I wouldn’t say I like watching my aunt’s death being so drawn-out. The family all agree that she’d hate to be at the point she is – having to live the drawing out of the last days of her life in a deep sleep in a hospital bed. ‘There’s nothing else we can do for her except keep her comfortable,’ the medical staff tell us. ‘But keep talking to her because hearing is the last sense to go.

Really? Is hearing the last thing the dying sense? How can they possibly know? Have some of these staff lived previous lives, or has somebody who has left this world told them that’s what happens? It seems odd to say. I can not work out how they know.

When my father died in October 2020, his death was swift. He died within 24 hours of being taken ill. There were no weeks of being unconscious in a hospital bed. Yet when my mother died in September 2015, she took many weeks to die after we were told there was nothing else they could do. Why do some people die quickly, yet others seem to take weeks, months or years to pass?

Are those who have long-drawn-out deaths having to pay for what they may have done during their lives, or is there something or someone who has overall control over how long it takes for us to die? Do some linger because there is some unsettled business to attend to, or do we have no power over how long it takes to take that final breath?

Where do we go just before we die?

Years ago, I believed there was a waiting room we entered when dying. We sat there waiting for our name to be called before going through another door that took us on our next journey. Some remained longer in that waiting room than others. But while we wait, we are occasionally permitted to briefly go back through the first door to check what is happening in the world we are leaving. Perhaps we’re not quite ready to go because we’re waiting for somebody to come and say goodbye?

I’ve often asked myself why my mother took so long to pass away. Did she not want to go, or was she told she had to wait her turn? In life, we queue. Do we have to queue to die?

When we die, are we leaving behind those still alive, or do the living leave us behind?

I probably talk or think about death more often than others. Many people I know don’t like talking about it. How often do you talk about death?

Perhaps I should have talked more about sex? But would anyone have wanted to discuss it with me?

What are your thoughts on why we dislike discussing death or sex?

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Can You Solve The Mystery Of A Blackmailed Missing Husband And Father?

Don’t go looking in puddles.

Be careful when taking toys, that have the ability to communicate, from a child.

Are the unexpected calls from a missing wife and mother on a child’s toy phone for real?

My latest short story, ‘Puddles’, is this month’s featured story over on the blog of Marsha Ingrao in her ‘Story Chat‘ feature.

Can you solve the mystery of a missing husband and father who believes his 8-year-old daughter is blackmailing him?

Click on the image and join lots of other readers who have already left their answers and thoughts of just what is going on in the lives of an ordinary family who may not be who you think they are.

Image of a young girl holding a toy teddy bear and giraffe
Image credit: Marsha Ingrao

Puddles – by Hugh W. Roberts

After you have solved the mystery of the puddles, why not write a short story for Story Chat? Your story will be read by a new audience who will interact with you. It’s your chance to promote your writing, your blog and yourself.

Click here to contact Marsha for more details.

Comments are closed here. Please leave comments over the original post on Marsha’s blog.

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How Do You Respond To The Comments Left On Your Blog?

I recently asked the following question on Twitter. 

Blogging question

And I got great answers back. 

Suzanne at Life At No. 22
Bree from 3 Sisters Abroad
Caroline from BellesMot200DotCom
Debbie at Deb’s World
Liesbet at Roaming About
James from Perfect Manifesto

I love James’ reply because he refers to something called a lazy response. We’ll look at those further on in this post.

Chris at BoomingOn
D at ShiftnShake
  • Gilda said

I’ve been involved in some great discussions on Twitter. This one inspired this post.

How did all this start?

It all started when I came across a tweet from an indie author advertising one of his books.

While checking out his Twitter profile, I noticed that one of the right things he’d done was to include a link to his blog. His books looked interesting, so I decided to check out his blog and engage with him.

However, several weeks later, he had not acknowledged or responded to any comments or questions left on his blog posts. Yet he remained active by publishing new blog posts a couple of times a week.

This got me thinking not only about bloggers who do not respond to comments, but some of the responses I often see – those lazy responses that James referred to.  

Now I know it’s up to each blogger how they handle comments left on their posts, but am I the only blogger who finds that not responding to comments is a strange occurrence?

After all, leaving good meaningful comments does seem to work. Take a look at Marsha’s response to some comments I’d left on one of her blog posts.

Short comments – do you like them?

What do you think about comments such as  Great PostNice Story, or Lovely photos? Have you left comments like those or asked yourself ‘why don’t they tell us what made it a great post, nice story, or what it was that made those photos lovely ?  

How to respond to short comments

Reader – “Great post.”

Me – “Thanks!”

Reader – “You’re welcome.” 

Are those comments beneficial or should they be deleted?

Why do readers’ leave ‘Great post’ comments?

  • Is it because they’re trying to read and leave comments on too many blog posts in too little time?
  • Do they feel guilty if not leaving any kind of comment on a post they read so short ones will do?
  • Is it because they haven’t really read the post? 
  • Is it because they don’t have the time to get into any discussion about the topic of the post?
  • Is it because what they were going to say has already been said by somebody else?

What are lazy responses?

For me, they’re the types of responses that let all the air out of your blogging balloon. You’ve left a great comment that opens up for a discussion about the post you’ve just read, but all you get back is a ‘Thank you for your comment.’

How deflated does that kind of response make you feel when you left a comment that asks questions and opens up a discussion?

I believe this is what James was referring to in his answer to my question on Twitter. But is a lazy response any better than no response at all?

  • Maybe you’re somebody who doesn’t mind getting and leaving short comments. Are there any reasons why you leave them?
  • What are the benefits of leaving short comments?
  • Maybe you’re somebody who doesn’t like getting into discussions on your blog posts?
  • Are there any benefits to leaving lazy responses?  
  • If I told you that I delete any comments that only include emojis or words such as ‘Great post‘, would you think I was being too harsh?

Finally, this reply to my question on Twitter really got my attention. 

What do you think about Lydia’s answer? Do people really care whether you respond to their comments or not?

How would you respond to the question I asked on Twitter? Do you like getting into discussions when replying to comments on your blog posts? Let’s cary on the discussion here. Join the conversation by leaving me a comment.

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