As my mother grows ever older, and begins to fade, I find myself contemplating life, death, and the meaning of all things. She is 92 years old, and has a lung diease called emphysema. She has had it for ten years now, and recently we almost lost her to an infection.
Yesterday, we thought we were going to lose her again,and we know that at any time we could be saying “Farewell.”
I am a very sensitive person,and can honestly say that I have pndered the meaning of life and death since being a very small child. I remember being introduced to death by my grandmother. Someone had died, and until that time I had not even known that such a thing existed. I just thought that we go on for ever. It was a great shock to me to discover that this is not so. I well remember discussing with my grandmother concerning my mother,and being appalled that one day she too would die. Not only that, but one day this would come to me also.
Well, in 2013, I almost died. I well remember one particular night when I swore that I could hear voices around me, calling me, and that indeed my time had come. In fact, that was almost the case. But something brought me back to this earth, and I did not die. But that experience has lived with me ever since.
I contemplate life and death a lot, and go through various stages in my assessment and feelings about it. I do not have any certainty about anything. Is there really a life beyond? What are we here for anyway? Why were we born at all, if only to die?
So many people seem so certain of so many things. But I am not. I have no certainty at all. Can I live with that? Yes, kind of, but with difficulty.
As human beings we want to control everything – to be in control. Uncertainty is one thing that we find hard to live with. But I am certain of nothing, except that I am uncertain.
I watch my mother approaching her death. And I am afraid. Yes, I dare to say that. I am afraid.
One day,recently, my mother leaned forward in her chair, put her head in her hands and said, “I’m frightened.” I put my arms around her and held her tightly. I KNEW her fear.
She aked me, “Wouldn’t you be frightened?” And of course, I had to say, “Yes, I would.”
And today, I am telling you that indeed, I am frightened. And that I have no certainty.
So there, I said it. I am frightened. Aren’t we all?