Living with dying #1

Ha ha ha. You’re dying. I’m dying.

That’s the nature of life. It is transient – a bird flying from window to window of a lighted hall. We all know that. But it’s really hard to hold on to that idea – to really believe it.

I was discussing immortality with my 12 year old the other day. I said I quite fancied the idea of living for ever. He shook his head (he’s so wise!) and said “Think about it, Mum. The whole universe is a cold, dead, empty space, and you’re still hanging there, all alone.”

I sometimes wonder what he reads.

Nevertheless, he’s right. And even if they believe in the immortality of the soul, most people are kind of upset when other people they love die, and most people kind of accept that if there is any kind of immortality it is in some other state, not this actual physical body, on this actual, physical planet drifting onwards through infinity.

I am probably marginally better at believing I am going to die than most people are, just because I’ve been given a bit of a hint as to how I’m going to go. Those little nodules lurking in my lungs are going to blossom and grow and eventually starve me to death. Something like that.

For the last few  years I have, from time to time, thought about how to approach the process of dying. I have wondered how much time I should invest into worrying about it. I have wondered whether I really need to floss EVERY night. I have worried about how things will be for my kids, what I’ll be missing from. I haven’t worried too much about pain, but I have worried about nausea. Not all the time, obviously. I buy new clothes. I go on holiday. I go to work. I empty the dishwasher.

Most of the time all those thoughts and worries sit in a little box on a shelf at the back of my head. But I thought maybe it would be worth taking the box down from time to time and unpacking it a little. Examining the contents. Sharing them with you. Letting you know about the things I do to keep that box safe.

 

 

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