Life Matters

DEATH

You may wonder why I am writing on the topic of death? It is a continuation of where I left off on my last subject of “Limitations”. The quote from Pope Paul V1 reminds us that we should think about death because it helps us live a full life, a life without limitations. As the quote said:

Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows.

Death is not a conversation topic that is popular. How many times have you gone to dinner with friends and talked about death and dying? Do you think the idea of discussing death is a little macabre?

Maybe you and I have been part of a discussion that happened after the death of a friend or loved one? But then the conversation is not so much about death, that is, the experience but the memories we had of the person when they were alive.

I need to remind myself that there are “only so many tomorrows”. I hope this will change the way I think about and act today. But will it? Will I fall into complacency and believe I have all the time in the world to do what I want to do for the rest of my life?

With that in mind I did buy a diary – the type you write in manually! I have not had one for years and in our retirement we succumed to writing appointments and other events on our yearly calendar. I thought it was working well, but I was wrong. There was not enough planning and I was drifting, though quite happily, from one month to another.

Now a change has happened. A change I believe will be for the better. I have my new diary and have planned and lived my first week, guided by my diary – which is really the new organised me!

I do think about death more as I grow older then when I was younger and now with the quote from Pope Paul V1 before me I will think about it even more! I think about those I loved who are no longer with me. A brother, a sister, a brother-in-law, a father, a step-son, a cousin, an aunt, an uncle, a grandfather, a grandmother, a great-grandmother – there are many. I wonder where they are now and what they are doing?

This is my maternal great grand-mother’s dresser. I inherited it just over 2 years ago from my Uncle. I have had it restored. Granny Mary may have left our family but she lives on in my memories. When I look at or touch the dresser I think of her – the lovely lady I remember.

My Granny Mary died when I was 8 years old at her home “The Laurels” in Helidon. My parents drove the family car, a panel van, from Toowoomba to Helidon after they heard the news of Granny’s passing. My three younger sisters and I were bedded down in the back of the van to sleep. But as I was curious about what was happening inside the house I got out of the car and went into the house. There was Granny lying on the leather sofa under the window in the lounge room. She looked like she was asleep. Soon I was discovered! I feigned a trip to the toilet and then was promptly sent back to the car to go to sleep!

We should not be afraid of death and there is comfort for some to spend a little time with a loved one who has transitioned from this earth. Time to hold their hand and even place a note or another memento beside them. Seeing and touching the body can assist the grieving process. Everyone manages death differently so there is no right way or wrong way to say farewell.

Death is an appointment we all must keep. Some of us will have notice, others will have none. In the meantime, we all have a life to live. It is up to me and up to you to decide what we do with it. Whatever I want to do with my life, NOW is my chance. There are only so many tomorrows. Therefore, my aim for my life in 2019 is to live life and live it well! I wish the same for you.

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