Sunday 31 May 2015


I have been thinking of mortality this weekend, not my own…well, not really. Maybe just a little bit. I have been wondering more about when and how I or you begin to think of our own mortality and why.

When any of us are young, we don’t think that our lives will ever end. We don’t think there is even a possibility of our lives ending. We just live every day and during that day we laugh, cry, eat, play, drink, learn, sleep and then repeat those several times over. Our concern is totally in the now and tomorrow is just something that adults talk about. When something happens that is different than our normal routine we revert to one of the seven things we do so very well.

We age just a little and the need to plan becomes more important. It is a rare teacher that will go for the “I live in the moment and the homework just isn’t in the moment stuff.” We need to plan our play a little better because it is always much more fun to play with someone else. We learn a little about mortality if a pet fish or fido happens to pass on. We learn about cause and effect when we find an ant hill on a sunny day when we are holding a magnifying lens. Sometimes, we lose a grand parent. I don’t think we can grasp mortality at a young age; they just aren’t around any more, maybe on a vacation.

A little older and we lose a good friend to some senseless accident or an even more senseless disease. We band together and share our grief with others which somehow makes it better and worse at the same time. The memories stay with us for the rest of our lives and even when that friend is a faded memory, the grief is still a very real feeling, unaffected by the passage of time.

Older still and we lose a parent. A very sizeable chunk of your life is taken away. All of the childhood memories, the lessons, spankings, laughter, road trips, and family get togethers. Christmas and birthdays will no longer have the anchor of that missing parent. This is the time when you realize that perhaps you just may pass away some day.

Friends start to get old and sick, some pass from their illnesses and their mortality and yours become a part of the whole experience of life. The sadness that once accompanied a death is greeted with a resignation of the inevitability of this being a part of life. You have your own aches and pains and you know that at some point you too will get ill. It is part of being a mortal being.

What happens at the end? That is one question that you have to answer for yourself. We are all just time travellers and like all journeys this one has to end. Some journeys are longer, some are more exciting, some make a big splash and some barely a ripple.

All are the same in the end and if we are lucky we exit accompanied by the love of those whose lives we touched.

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