Family Magazine

Reminders Everywhere!

By Douggosling @douggosling
It's hard not to think about death when you have been given a timeframe. It's sort of like waiting on death row. It's probably even worse for me because my mind is tuned to writing about the subject. However, I don't want to be thinking about death all the time, particulary my own. But there are always some reminders that I can't get away from, such as the pain that's with me all the time, but I'm slowly accepting that as just a part of who I am.
Most of the time, I am preoccupied with what I'm doing, whether it's talking to someone, watching tv, reading, etc. But even in the middle of these normal activities, there are things that remind me that I am going to die, and make me very sad. I can't hide from them, nor can I ask others to walk on tip toes around me, because it's inevitable that something I see or hear or that someone else says will trigger the thought.
For example, hearing about Jack Layton the other day (political leader and member of the prostate cancer club) really hit me hard. While his prostate cancer is under control, I still feel an affinity for him, and hearing that he is now fighting another cancer and seeing him look so thin and ... well ... ill, it made me wonder if he was going to make it through. And that made me think about myself because I know I'm not going to make it. I could put on a brave face and tell everyone that I'm going to beat this thing (as he did), but I'm not like that and I don't have any constituents to worry about. I wish him the very best of luck. This is really about him and not me but I can't control how my mind works.
Other things that bring thoughts of death closer are more innocent or even mundane. Often, when I'm watching a movie, something will happen to pop up these thoughts like a red flag. A character may die, especially someone's spouse. Or I'll see someone giving their life to save others and I wish I could do the same to make my death more worthy. It's sometimes obvious that the plot is set up for a sequel and I suddenly realize that I might not be around to see it. Sound silly?
I love dogs and have two great bearded collies - beautiful and friendly dogs. I got my oldest as a "therapy dog", a friend to walk with, play with and snuggle up to in bed. There's a lot of evidence supporting the emotional healing power of dogs. She makes me feel good. The youngest we got because she was so darn cute and Dianne and I are suckers for dogs. Sometimes, when I'm playing with them or just when they're looking at me with those big puppy dog eyes I wonder what they will think when I'm gone. Will they forget me soon? Will I see them again "on the other side". What about my other dog friends who have already died? Will my first beardie, Gibson (who I had a very special bond with), come bounding up to meet me on that sun-drenched field I read about? Weird, eh?
And then there are those times when I'm looking into my wife's eyes in a happy moment, a precious moment that for me will last forever, and I think about how much I will miss her. I'm thinking about my own death, but I don't want her to know. These are precious moments for her too and I won't spoil them for her.
After all, it's not all about me!

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