In 2019, my then-neighbour was sorry to hear about my imminent relocation. At her age (then 98), all her friends and relatives had already passed away. As a helpful neighbour, I provided some sense of security. A year before, she had expressed her regrets for outliving everyone.
A few days ago, my mother suddenly said that she had never expected to reach 88 next month. A few years ago, she had been mentioning her demise, as if she had lost her appetite for life. Those casual references have stopped. She found her lust for life again. Mine takes a daily effort.
The idea to write about this subject isn’t new but it lacked a proper focus & perspective.
- The knowledge that very little truly matters in the end.
- And remember, not everyone gets the chance to grow older. It truly is a privilege denied to many.
My friend Joan died at the age of 54; my father at 61. Some friends died even much younger. Sometimes, it makes me wonder why I’m still around.
The text (see left) lacks the feeling of serenity following ageing, including peace of mind. Perhaps, both are not universal but individual.
On the day that I bought my current home, a close friend died. I only found out several days later. She had told me that she was afraid to die. I asked her why. Her assumption was that she would be fully gone. I asked her what if your assumption is wrong? Our conversation helped her finding peace of mind.
My question to her relates to Pascal’s wager:
Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) “argues that a rational person should live as though God exists and seek to believe in God. If God does not exist, such a person will have only a finite loss (some pleasures, luxury, etc.), whereas if God does exist, he stands to receive infinite gains (as represented by eternity in Heaven) and avoid infinite losses (an eternity in Hell).” Wikipedia
Ever since my 2013 burnout and subsequent 18 month depression, I don’t understand why people are afraid of dying. In my darkest moments, I received divine intervention. I’m convinced there is an afterlife. I presume my role is helping others (eg, by my writing) during their moments at the dark side.
At times, I long to join the people whom I lost. Then, I remember my promise to Joan, in the days before her death, to continue my writing once she has gone. Nothing else matters.
Note: all markings (bold, italic, underlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.