We’ve discussed this before. We’ve had this conversation. But nothing is more real about this chat then it is right now. Because over the last three weeks while we have worried about our weight, yelled impatiently at our children, huffed and puffed out at the series of frustrating road users a man I know has been counting down his days. Not his days til Christmas or days til his next holiday but the days of his life.
Three weeks ago he was told he had a month to live and while we all can’t wait to get into bed at night only to wake up the next day bleary eyed can we even come close to imagining how those nights and those mornings clicked by way too quickly for him.
Yesterday marked one week to go. 7 days or there abouts. How fucken unfair. How frustrating. How absolutely devastating. I cannot even fathom how this feels for him, for anyone dealing with this same mortality. I cannot put into words what each day drawing to an end would feel like to this man. And I can’t tell you how sad I selfishly feel.
How do you grieve the life you had, that life you have to let go? How do you do that? How the fuck do you do that! How do you sum up your life and ‘tie up loose ends’ when the biggest loose end is that you don’t want to fucken die! You want to live! You want to fall in love again and again. You want to explore the world. You want to hug every member of your family. Thank every one of your friends for every moment you’ve ever shared. Say sorry. Take your kids on a spectacular holiday. Boldly quit your job and train for your dream job.
What is really important in that moment of severely shortened time? What becomes the main focus in your life? Who would you spend your time with? How would you feel?
I don’t write this to bring on guilt for those who have just cried about a frustrating yet precious child. Not written to bring shame for the materialistic lives we lead. Not to instil fear in our own mortality. Just words written for a man I know with seven days left on his life calendar. His LIFE calendar. Just words from my heart because I feel so sad. For him. For his family. For the “what ifs”. For the challenges and unfairness of it all. For the fact he has just written his own eulogy which is not done for premeditated fun but out of a requirement to him and his final words of life. LIFE.
So I ask of you be grateful today, if even only for a moment. Be gracious over the next seven days in a compassionate way to all those on this similar and terminal journey. What we take for granted is a blessing to others. Less whinging, more hugging.