Saturday, August 18, 2007

The End of It All

I've been thinking a lot lately about how we deal with our own mortality and the mortality of our loved ones.
I've focused more on the latter most of the time, because I never really thought about or feared my own death as much. This morning, I started thinking about it more.
I wondered what it would be like to not be. Or if my consciousness would be somewhere else, some other place where I'd be unable to communicate with the living.
Mostly, I thought about an episode of the television show "Scrubs" I saw recently, where an elderly patient who is checked into the hospital says she's ready to die. Her doctor, the main character J.D., finds this hard to believe and has her go over a list of things to do before you die. She's done most of them; he hasn't.
"What about you?" she asks him. "How many things have you done?"
She tells him to worry about himself, not her.
And she's right. I should be worrying less about the eventual demise of my loved ones and more about how I'm going to feel when that moment comes.
I envision myself hurtling toward death, but also thoughtfully savoring each moment. Not as if it were my last, but as if I were to run out of them. Because I will someday.
I want to feel as if I've spent my time wisely when I die. I want to be like Mrs. Tanner, and be ready for death when it comes.
Here's to living for today.