Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Visit to the Bodies Exhibit

Walking through the cold, dimly lit rooms full of preserved human muscles, bones, and organs, it was hard not to think about these same things hiding under my own skin.

An eerie feeling washed over me as I stared into the dead eyes of one of the preserved bodies. He was clutching a football, posed in an unnatural way. I remembered the unnatural and uncomfortable position the mortician had arranged my father for the funeral. The pale makeup on his face coating his normally bright red skin. The suit his body was squeezed into, a suit my dad only wore for special occasions.

Death is a natural part of the process of life. It all must end sometime. But the way we, the living, deal with this thing seems entirely unnatural.

We put our loved ones in uncomfortable clothes and try to make them look like they did before their heart stopped beating. We put unclaimed bodies in chemicals and display their insides for the public to see.

We don't like to look at death the way it really is. It reminds us how quickly our own life could be coming to a close nd that is something we would just rather not think about.

It has been nearly three years since my dad's heart stopped beating. I don't know what his bones and muscles and organs look like now. They weren't preserved the way those bodies on display were. But it doesn't matter right now because I am going to eat this cookie sitting in front of me because I am alive and I can.

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