Five kinds of people

Funeral
Some people say that death comes in threes. I don’t know about that. But it does seem like death has been more visible of late. That includes real life people in my home town, famous people, and friends of friends on the Facebook and stuff. A couple of them even rocked my world to the point where I looked up and shouted, “Well played, Universe! Those were some damn good people. Now they are gone and I’m still here? Well played!” My dad taught me that life isn’t always fair. He was right.

Yeah, I’m not a big fan of the Universe. In my religion (the one that I started) the Universe is an infidel and I have declared a vendetta. It’s a winner-take-all battle to determine The Last Thing Standing. I’ll be sure to let you know how that turns out. Tickets will be sold on PPV.

I was thinking a bit about all of the people who have died recently and had an “aha” moment. I realized that there are five kinds of people.

  1. Born Before/Died Before – This group is comprised of people who were born before me and who also died before I was born. This group contains a lot of people including Caesar, Plato, Socrates, King Henry VIII, my distant ancestor Zeblin, and even John F. Kennedy.
  2. Born Before/Died After – George Burns, Chuck Yeager, Johnny Cash, and my dad.
  3. Born Before/Alive – This group includes people born before me who are still alive. Fun factoid: All of these people are older than me. William Shatner and my mom are currently members of this group.
  4. Born After/Alive – The group is people born after me who are still alive. Fun factoid: All of these people are younger than me. This group includes Justin Timberlake, NFL quarterback Tom Brady, Andy Samberg, and my wife.
  5. Born After/Dead – This is where it gets a bit painful. These are people that, no matter what else, I have outlived. This includes people like Amy Winehouse, Kurt Cobain and Heath Ledger.

I don’t know what purpose there is to coming up with groups like this. I can’t help it. This is the kind of weird stuff I think about.

There is one other notable group, though. It’s the group that really makes me stop and think. Specifically, it is people who died at a younger age than I am now. There are people I’ve “outlived” in terms of time spent on the planet. This group includes Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, John Lennon, John Candy, John F. Kennedy, Princess Diana, Freddie Mercury, and Judy Garland.

I guess the longer you live the more that category grows. I’m one who starts every day by waking up and saying to myself, “What the hell? You’re alive!” So I’ll continue to monitor my ongoing progress.

16 responses

  1. I started a list once, intending to post it when I was done, of my version of your “notable” list. I finally gave up, after doing tons of research, when I realized just how long the list is of people my world is worse off without. Very depressing.

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    1. Some people add to your world. Some don’t. In my experience that has little effect on the order of departure.

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      1. Sadly, that is oh so true. BTW, I gave (yet another) listen to your “Official Theme Song of the Abyss” after I left my comment. I’m really beginning to “feel” you on that one!

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  2. Where does a born again Christian slot themselves? Just curious. 🙂

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    1. I guess that would be a group I forgot. Born/Born/Alive.

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  3. Having just been to my husband’s 40th high school reunion, I’d like to propose yet another category – the walking dead.

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    1. I got a reunion thing coming up on the horizon. I haven’t decided if I’m gonna go. But I do know we recently lost one. A woman from my class who was successful, a mother, and very nice. (So much so that she was even nice to me.) To see her go the way she did really bothered me. And yet I’m still here. Sometimes nothing makes sense.

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  4. I find the way your brain works fascinating.

    Category 5 really hurts when it’s someone you know.

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    1. I’m lucky I haven’t had to deal with that category much.

      I hope you meant “fascinating” in a clinical sense.

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  5. Everybody tries to make sense of life and all that goes with it. This is part of yours.

    Of the people I’ve lost this year, a few really, really hurt. The others, well you know. The worst one of those that didn’t personally rip me apart ended up ripping me apart as I held my goddaughter as it ripped her apart. Sure, I knew that dead person longer than she–and better–but she was more attached and she was younger, this being her first person close to her who died.

    It amazes the fuck-all out of me that several people I know (older than I) are experiencing BigJohn’s death as their first of somebody close. You get more philosophical, if not actually less pained. You get you a couple of year-long deep grieving sessions in and the others are like unexpected waves that topple you — but you get righted back up again.

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    1. Your reaction to the loss of BigJohn was part of what prompted this line of thinking for me.

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  6. You forgot to include people BORN AT EXACTLY THE SAME TIME!!! Please revise.

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    1. LOL! Good thinking. 🙂

      I had actually considered that possibility but discounted all members of that group as absolute losers. Negligible literary value at best.

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  7. Thanks for the important reminder, IzaakMak. I just gave the song another listen. That was very refreshing!

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  8. Reblogged this on Shouts from the Abyss and commented:

    So far in 2013 there are two notable additions to the Born After/Dead list: Cory Monteith from Glee) and Lisa Robin Kelly (from That 70’s Show). Tom Clancy was not part of that group. He was older than me.

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