We all need a finish line to aim for,
A chalky line across the grass, and tape
To break our way through with our arms held high.
Without that line we’ll keep on running,
Swimming to exhaustion in a pointless circle.
We need to know how long we have, and yet we don’t;
We drift through life without a clue,
It could be twenty years from now, it could be
Crossing over one wrong road at one wrong time,
Never to have time to say goodbye.
I’m reading a book about a woman who has cancer and she is trying to come to terms with the fact that she is going to die young. She is dealing with something that many of us won’t have to worry ourselves with; although there are many of us who will have time to think about death as we get older.
My grandmothers died in two very different ways and I have spent a lot of that last decade thinking which I would rather. One died of cancer and although it’s horrid, we all got the chance to make peace with the fact that she was going to go.
On the other hand, my other grandmother just went to sleep one night and didn’t wake up. It seemed like quite a lovely way to go, but it was a terrible shock for all of us. However, is that a terrible way to go when you are so much younger? To not know that the end is near? To not live your last day in a way that is fitting?
We all fight with the idea of death at some time and I guess that I’m worrying that I might be halfway now. Or perhaps I’m even further forward. I went to school with a girl who died in her sleep when she was seventeen so it doesn’t just happen to eighty year olds.
And then there are the goodbyes. Don’t we all need to say goodbye, no matter what the relationship? Even if it’s the man on the checkout at your local supermarket; it would feel wrong not to say goodbye and thank you for your company.
So, just in case it’s ever too late, thank you for your company.