Saturday, September 1, 2007


I had the opportunity to be interviewed by one of my favorite authors! Noelle of Intellectual Hedonism offered me the chance for this interview and I snatched it. It was fun and gave me a reason to search within myself - here it is:

Instructions First:

1. Leave me a comment saying "Interview me."

2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.

3. You will update your blog with a post containing your answers to the questions. And a link to my profile or blog as your interviewer.

4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.

5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Now the Questions:

1. The death of a loved one can often feel like a right of passage. You mentioned in a much earlier post that your mother's death was the first time death had been personal for you. How did that loss influence your life? Do you think the experience helped you become better at counseling others?

When my mother died, I for the first time in my life actually felt the pain of losing someone that was a part of me. We were close yet I felt as though I had passively neglected her, I should have been more involved. I slowly realized that there was nothing I could do to change the past however I vowed to myself never to neglect anyone again. The people I have in my life aren't going to be here forever, that's if I don't die first, and I believe her dieing has made me more aware of how important today is. We've all heard about the shortness of life and the importance of today but it took her loss for me to heed that "warning" and to truly learn to be empathetic of the people I deal with. I always felt bad for people who lost someone and tried to show empathy but until I had actually experienced the loss of part of myself I think I had been trying to express an emotion that I didn't fully understand. I only wish I could somehow get to people before they need to see me and try to pass this message on. Maybe that's part of what I'm attempting with my blog; I never thought of that before.

2. You face death--in one form or another--on an almost daily basis. How has this influenced your view of life? Do you think being confronted with one of man's greatest fears has given you a deeper appreciation of life, or has it desensitized you? From your writing I would wager the first option.

I hope I'm far from desensitized, life is too important to me; I love to feel. Death sucks, no question about it, but the natural order says that after a specified time when our bodies can no longer maintain themselves they die, unfortunately it most often seems premature to the people that are left behind. Death feeds my family but like most fairly healthy people death is my enemy right now; I certainly don't look forward to greeting it face to face but when it nears I can only hope I'll be ready. I think everyone, excluding perhaps the young, knows that every day is important and that every second of that day should be taken advantage of even though we often waste time. Being exposed to so many different types of deaths so frequently has however put it right in my face. For all I know I won't make it to the end of this interview, but don't misunderstand me, I don't live my life dwelling on the fact that I could die at any second. Whether I am aware of it coming or not it's going to happen, so I just try to live each moment to the fullest and by the fullest I mean the happiest. I'm in no way saying that every moment of my life is filled with wondrous things; nor am I saying I'm always happy but I make a concentrated effort to put myself in that place as often as possible. Sometimes it's filled with nothing, but it's that way because I want it to be; that could be what I need to be happy at the moment. Yes, we all need to be happy. We all need to be loved and to love. We all need to just slow down on occasion and see how much we really have no matter how bleak some times may seem.

3. What do you think is scarier, life or death?

Well Noelle, when you think about it the only thing that scares us is the unknown. Whether it be rats or relationships or fire or being unemployed or heights or death, whatever, the fear is "what if", "what would happen if", "what will it be like", it's the unknown that creates fear. Theoretically, if you look at it this way both life and death can be just as scary as one another, or neither can be scary at all. That's theory, but life is whats scary to me. I don't expect much out of death other than no longer having to struggle with life. As I said earlier I love life but I also know that there is plenty of heartache, pain, struggle and strife that goes along with the good. The thought of that possibility, the what ifs, are what I would consider scary.

4. I would imagine you are allowed a pretty intimate snap shot of a person's life and family when you arrange their funeral. Do you notice a lot of similarities? What has your profession taught you about human nature?

The main similarity I see is that no matter who they are, no matter what kind of life they appear to be leading, they almost always have some sort of secret or problem brewing in their family. Growing up I had no idea that the problems that faced my family were so common but interacting with so many people at a raw, vulnerable time in their life I sometimes hear more than I care to. It's not as if I look forward to hearing these things or coax this information out of people but it seems that when we're together they feel as if they can tell me, a stranger for the most part, just about anything even if it's something that I don't need to know. I often find myself telling people that what they're telling me isn't necessary but the response is usually more info. What I've learned about human nature is that most people deep down are caring individuals who really want to be and do the best that they can yet are entirely unique of one another in respect to their needs. I've also learned that man thrives on understanding and acceptance and will go to unimaginable lengths to try to achieve it. Ultimately, I believe that man and womankind instill awe in me with just about everything that they do. I love people.

5. In your opinion, what is the most important lesson in life we can learn from death?

There are so many! I don't think I can narrow this down to the most important lesson but I'll give you the top few that I can think of. For me I have learned not to neglect, the hard way as you know. Don't take a single second for granted for this might be your last. If you want something within your reach, grab it and savor it now. I literally knew a man who had the "live for the moment" attitude and thought he was nuts until I saw how quickly it can all be snatched away. Live hard. Love hard. Enjoy as much as you can while you can and don't look back.

Thank you for the great opportunity to interview you.
One of your biggest fans! Noelle

Thanks Noelle, that was really soul searching, you're a great interviewer! I'm so glad that I had this chance. Oh, and eveyone else, don't forget, If you'd like an interview "just ask me" - DS


Anonymous said...

Bravo. This was fantastic! I'm proud that I found some questions that made you stop and think. I think it's so important that people realize that your blog is about so much more than death.

I really am a huge fan and thank you for letting me interview you!

deathsweep said...

It was my pleasure!

paisley said...

you guys did an excellent job on that... excellent questions and thoughtful thought provoking answers... thank you this was great....

Agnes Mildew said...

You were asked some really fantastic questions by Angry Bar Code, there, and I was sucked in reading your responses. Very interesting.

I have never been interviewed in my life, DS, (apart from for jobs, which are tedious) and so, I should like to take the plunge and ask you to interview me, please, as I am up for something to think about!

The Artist Formerly Known As Teach said...

I did this once as well. Used the Inside the Actor's Studio questions. I shan't ask you 5 questions because honestly I can't think of them but I do have one which I will ask in two parts.

Have you ever questioned your career choice? And if you could have another career what would it be?

deathsweep said...

To the artist - I think I've questioned my career choice more times than I wish to remember but I always come to the same conclusion. It's a filthy, heart wrenching job sometimes and often I'd like to pack it in...but then I get to thinking about the people I've helped; the ones that I was able to touch in some way...then it all falls back into perspective...bottom line is I love helping people and this is the way I was trained to do it so I "must", yes "must" do my best for both them and for me. Hope that answers your question.

the artist formerly known as teach said...

Yes, it did. I guess I am searching right now (as you know) for my place again in the world. Feel a little lost without being involved in what I see as my "calling", if you will. I just have to keep in mind the other ways I can be of service to the world, the other ways to touch people and get to it I guess.

myrtle beached whale said...

I am willing to be interviewed at your convenience.