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Being Eaten By Cats: thoughts on the myth of dying single August 11, 2008

Posted by Onely in Uncategorized.
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Remember the Sex in the City episode where Miranda almost chokes to death while alone in her apartment? In the aftermath, she fills her cat’s bowl to overflowing so that, should she choke again, the animal won’t feed on her bloated corpse. I watched this episode and felt the exact empathy and horror the producers wanted me to feel. But in this Onely venue I feel compelled to rethink Miranda’s situation:

1) If I were lying there on the floor dead and my cats were hungry, I would want them to eat me, of course. Better that some of us survive. I wouldn’t need my buttcheeks at that point, anyway. 

2) Everyone, everyone dies alone. No one can make that trip with you. People can see you off and people can meet you on the other side (we like to think), but you have to board that train by yourself. 

3) The measure of a life is not in the moment of its passing, but in its cumulative experiences. That day or hour or minute when you take to your bed is irrelevant when viewed in relation to an entire life’s worth of experiences and human interactions. 

4) What if as an elderly person, you went to a fabulous picnic, talked to your friends, laughed, ate Jello, maybe danced the merengue, and then went home to your Onely abode, feeling happy but quite tired and relieved to have some time to decompress by yourself? What if you lay down on the couch in front of your favorite guilty pleasure TV show, felt a little odd for a moment, and then died? Does that sound sad and pitiful? Did you die alone? Or did you die Onely?

Anyone amongst our copious readership want to talk about their fears of dying alone? (We addressed the fearful  “rotting alone” issue in this earlier post about Bella DePaulo’s book Singled Out.)



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