Sunday, May 1, 2011

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Life and death.

You don't really think about the death part unless it hits you in the face. The illness of a loved one. The death of a friend in a freak accident. The tragic loss of a stranger. That's when you would feel that fleeting emotion of sympathy and terror mixed in one.

It could have been me.

That could be me.

What if that happened to me?


Numerous scenarios related to the various what-ifs would cross your mind. You would think of what needs to be done. That insurance policy that needs to be bought. Those details you need to tell your partner in case something happens to you. Those instructions you would want passed on to your child.

You remember all the cheesy quotes and sayings you have read or heard about living each day like it's your last and everything else along those lines, and for a minute or two you will resolve to live by those rules. Living each moment to the fullest.

Then the feeling passes. You move on. Perhaps in a few hours, or a few days or even in a few weeks. Eventually it's only those directly affected by the aftermath of whatever tragedy has befallen them, who are left to deal with it.

You go back to living your daily routine. Sending kids off to school. Going off to work. Paying the bills. Whining about the heat. Complaining about the power cuts. Grumbling about how bored you feel. Bitching about how horrible people are. Moaning about how awful everything is and how nothing will ever change. Basically, getting on with the process of 'living'.

Maybe that is the way humans cope. If we were constantly sitting and fretting about when we're going to die and what would happen after that, perhaps we would cease to function.

I remember when I was a teenager who was 'misunderstood' I would think about what would happen if I died and how it would serve 'them' right and how sorry they would feel then. Kurt Cobain's suicide note apparently said "It's better to burn out than to fade away". At the age of 14, I thought that was poetically brilliant (it was only later I found out it was actually said by Neil Young).

Now having seen some people burn out, cut down in the prime of their lives, leaving in their wake families who will never recover from a loss such us the one they have endured, I can only (vainly) hope that no one has to go through this sort of trauma.

Life and death. If you're alive, then you are guaranteed to experience death. I suppose all you can do is pray for one that will be relatively painless and at a time when you won't be leaving too many loose ends behind.

Though who wants to die ever?

From tomorrow, I will live each day to it's fullest. I will not yell at my son unnecessarily. I will not snap at my husband (without cause). I will be more patient with people in general. I will not complain about work. I will make sure that if I were to die at any second, I would be able to say "I had an awesome life".

I can hope anyway.

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