August 22, 2009
You're dying soon
What do you do when you are faced with death?
I can't imagine what it is like to be told you only have perhaps a month to live... "Sorry, we can't tell you exactly how long, but we do know there is nothing else we can do for you, so you're most certainly going to die"?
I'm certain that it's different simply dying, to knowing that you are going to die. You'll lie there all day in horrible pain, contemplating your life, your regrets, knowing that now there is no way that you can make up for the terrible things that you've done or ever getting around to doing the things you haven't done yet, being terrified of the end because you don't know whether you're really going to an afterlife, or if that's just the end of you.
You lie there thinking about all your plans for the future, about missing your child's wedding, losing out on being a grandfather...everything ends...there is nothing now but the waiting and the hurting.
We all live from day to day making plans, procrastinating, forgetting people or things, making excuses...what if you didn't have the future?
The reason I am contemplating all this is because my future father-in-law has been given this diagnosis. He is scared...you can see it in his face twisted with pain, or in his face as he struggles to sit up, or in his face as he stares at the ground...you can see it because it is in his eyes. And it makes me scared to wonder what it is that keeps travelling through his mind.
I know he is sad because he is missing our wedding - we've had a symbolic ceremony for him, just so he could see us get "married", but now he knows that there is nothing else for him - he will miss everything: grandchildren, seeing his son happy, growing old with someone he loves, watching the world as it grows, seeing the sun, feeling the rain...
What else can all this contemplation do but make you sad?