Updated: Aug 12
One of my favorite scenes from the movie “Moonstruck” https://youtu.be/kBWxqcvH7Dk
I had a woman ask me recently upon finding out that I have cancer “Are you terminal?” I asked her “Aren’t we all?” I am an open book and because of this people will ask me questions that they probably wouldn’t ask of most people but the answer to my question is “Yes.” The minute we are born the timer on our lives is set, we just don’t know when the buzzer will go off. In that particular instance the person got flustered and I answered “Oh you mean my prognosis…” It’s okay that I get asked awkward questions, I think it would be better if this part of life or potentially earlier than later death, could be talked about openly instead of in hushed voices like disease is a shameful thing. Our culture in the USA tends to lean towards denial which elevates fear of the certain death that comes for all of us some day. My mom was terrified when she was on her way out of her mortal coil the last month she was alive, her lung cancer taking hold of her and the doctors notifying her that eviction out of her body was certain. I tried to talk to her about dying, she didn’t want to hear it, she didn’t really want to talk about anything substantive, the television was always on, blaring talk shows or murder mysteries. I wanted to help her not to be afraid but the story of my husbands moms quick passing, when they opened the windows and played her favorite music, made my mother insist that her windows and doors be shut even though it was a hot June and it was stifling inside. Fear makes death horrible and it doesn’t have to be. I wasn’t beside my mom when she passed, I had been there earlier that day, her organs were solidifying and she couldn’t eat or drink but she still thought she could keep going, she had a lot of issues but the woman was resilient. My sister called me at home that night “It’s time! You need to come say goodbye.” I replied “She is not to wait for me! You tell her to go now.” My sister did and so my mom took one last breath and died. My mother had been surrounded by loved ones at the time of her death, her will and fear of dying kept her breathing even as her body was shutting down, I feel bad she didn’t pass peacefully but my physical presence wouldn’t have helped and besides, I was a 30 minute drive away and her suffering had gone on long enough.
I understand the fear of death as it is fear of the unknown. I used to really be afraid of dying but I am not really afraid of it anymore, which is a relief, fear of something inevitable like that is burdensome. Personally I believe we never really end but even if we did, how would we know? I have heard that when people are close to dying they will see loved ones who have passed, ask a Hospice nurse, this is really common. My mother-in-law saw her father, she was excited to put on her supposed new dress and get on a train, she was still bedridden in the hospital, this was a few days before she went home to die.
I hope I didn’t bum you out with my death talk, I actually think the subject is really interesting and the more we discuss the subject the less fear there can be for some. As for me, I feel a little further away from my ultimate demise right now, I actually gave someone a massage on Friday and I didn’t die, ha! My energy has been getting better and I am making some plans for our future just in case I am around for longer than I thought I would be. The cancer is still present in my body as of right now but I am trying to usher it out, we will see how this goes. Right now I actually feel pretty awesome and I am going to celebrate that little victory.
Until next time ❤️