As I awaken I have fear in my heart. I try to distract myself. I think of fresh green grass wet with the morning dew. I think of waking in the Lake District and the silence before everyone else wakes up. I think of the sun just rising, and the new day ahead. A day in the mountains again. I imagine myself to be young and fit again, and not bound by age, sickness and this body. Which days are the most real? Then, or now? Time is slipping by and soon my time on this earth will be done. My life is limited now, and I hardly feel alive. There is still the fresh green grass wet with the morning dew. There are still mountains waiting to be climbed. But not by me.
Once I was going to climb Everest. It sounded impossible, even as I said it. How could I climb Everest? I was being ridiculous. Yet I still entertained the thought.
I never made Everest, and now it is like climbing Everest getting to the bathroom in a morning. I listen to my husband, still fast asleep, but making strange noises. He sounds like a baby. I begin to shake inside. Is his time running out? We are alone. All our family is gone, and I fear because I do not know what is going to become of us. I long to go back – to that time when we were the masters. When we could direct our own lives. When we needed no one, and when we were not bound by the chains of age.and I wonder how free we really are. Was freedom an illusion? How much of life is an illusion?
It is not an illusion that we are going to die. And for us it will come sooner rather than later. There will be a “Goodbye.” We have already said “Goodbye” to so much. Our lives are fading. The green grass will still be green, long after we are gone, and it will still be wet with the morning dew. Little lambs will run and jump and play in the fields. But they too are doomed. They too will die. For death comes to all.
How do we say “Goodbye”? We cannot do it without help. Yet that last breath, we have to take alone. No one can do it for us. And in that moment we surrender our lives. We surrender them to the Great Unknown.