START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

On Death & The Next Grand Adventure

  • 1 of 2
On Death & The Next Grand Adventure

By Melanie Bates

I had an epiphany this morn. Like a choking on a slurp of my Ginger Red tea kind of epiphany.

I am Bilbo Baggins.

It all started with this

There was a study released recently that you are what you read. A scary proposition, eh, and I don’t know about you but I’m not particularly keen to become anything like Pap Finn, Iago, Sauron, Satan, Voldemort or Grendel. Plus, unlike Bilbo, I’m really not short. I don’t puff on a pipe (though I did once when I was 15 and having a nicotine fit.) I do, however, shave the little wisps of hair on my big toes, but I most definitely don’t have hair in my ears. Yet.

I don’t know if I was Bilbo before I read The Hobbit or after. But, there’s really no question that I am Bilbo Baggins. Bear with me and I’ll explain.

But first there’s this…

My beloved Grandest Woman, Grandma Alta, is not going to be with us for much longer. She’s 98 years old and she recently had a bad bout with pneumonia, has been in and out of the hospital and is weaker than I’ve ever seen her. One day she’s sharp as a knife made of titanium alloy, other days she doesn’t have the energy to do much but sleep and sip on her chocolate Ensure through a straw. Not too long ago this amazing woman was out mowing her lawn and hanging her garments on the clothesline.  Not so very long ago, she and I were taking daily walks over to the cemetery and hitting the ground with lightning speed as bullets whizzed over our heads during the various animal killing seasons rampant in our home town. A couple years ago if we walked in to her house, she was up in a jiff, fussing in the kitchen, to feed our hungry bellies with slices of homemade lemon meringue pie. Now she’s been released to hospice and where we once used to eat Thanksgiving yumminess there lies a silver metal hospital bed.

My family is obviously devastated and our process reminds me of  the wild elephants of South Africa who just embarked on a 12 hour journey in order to arrive at the home of their beloved savior shortly after his death. These beautiful creatures hadn’t been to this man’s home for over a year and a half. Yet hours before his death they had begun their journey to say their goodbyes. Somehow they knew. It’s said that, “from miles and miles away, two herds of elephants, sensing that they had lost a beloved human friend, moved in a solemn, almost ‘funereal’ procession to make a call on the bereaved family at the deceased man’s home.” Yes, some members of my family (myself included), are not unlike those wild elephants making our journey to say our own goodbyes.

I’m sad, of course, but I’m also ready for her to go.  A couple years ago she wore purple, munching on a piece of English Muffin toast and said to me, “I don’t know what I’m still doing here.” She’s tired. Hell, I’m tired and I’m only 41. When we’d walk the paths of the cemetery together she would say, “I know more people over here than I do in town.” ‘Course this may have been due to the fact that all those “fereners” (foreigners) were moving in.

  • 1 of 2

Read more: Life, Love, Relationships, Spirit, , , , , , , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love


+ add your own
8:28AM PDT on Sep 13, 2012

Great article!!

8:23AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

An interesting and thought provoking article. Adventures are to be had everywhere. Not sure what happens after death as we can all speculate and wonder.

3:48PM PDT on Jun 18, 2012

great post! And thanks for the link to the study, very interesting.

4:25PM PDT on Jun 3, 2012

Pleasant memories are meant to be cherished and shared. Thanks for sharing.

8:07AM PDT on Jun 3, 2012


11:12AM PDT on Jun 2, 2012


7:33PM PDT on May 31, 2012

Beautiful article. I am nearing that transition.

4:13PM PDT on May 31, 2012

Thank you beautiful post

10:37AM PDT on May 31, 2012

Thank you.

9:19AM PDT on May 31, 2012

I'd like to think I'll be doing something more interesting than decaying. Won't know til it happens.

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

One more thing I feel compelled to say-->if people can't SEE some of the possible dangers in thes…

I'll definitely give them a try!

When I moved into this house it had storm windows. Made a big difference on the cold and draft. Bu…

I was reading an old herbal book from about 100 years ago and they mentioned Oil of Ben to use when …


Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.

site feedback


Problem on this page? Briefly let us know what isn't working for you and we'll try to make it right!