It is easy to read philosophical thoughts on death, I have an excellent one at the head of this blog. It is another to react to them all in the same way when reality actually hits. Take for the example ” Life is terminal”…… and all the derivations abounding – you know the ones which urge you to ‘live life to the full, you only have one’ or ‘don’t put off till tomorrow what can be done today’ …. etc. etc.
We all die – that is the only guaranteed fact about the world in which we live (or if you a are a westerner and a Mark Twain fan it’s death and taxes).
I have been to endless dinner parties where this kind of thing has been one of the topics of conversation, it’s all good stuff to muse over …… ‘making the most of the time here’, ‘living life to the full’, ‘what about the bucket list’ etc. It has filled hours of fun times with friends, led to the drinking of copious amounts of delicious red wine, and been a back drop to a many a lovely evening.
Somehow this all seems to change when health actually does deteriorate and one is told one has a life ending disease. There is treatment of course, and life span can maybe be extended to an acceptable level (hell, what is acceptable?).
Somehow the interesting backdrop to one’s dinner party conversations changes in it’s appeal. Suddenly the plans for the future are blown up in smoke, suddenly there is only time left, much of which will be painful, debilitating and psychologically destructive.
What to do? I seriously don’t know.