Friday, July 7, 2017
END OF LIFE
Sooner or Later we have to think about the end of the trail, pardner. Preferably later. But still it has to be done.
Right now a 50/something lady next door is dying. It is not the idealistic picture one could envision – propped up in fluffy white pillows looking as she did in her prime. Instead this woman is curled up on her sofa in the fetal position, wasting away at about 70 pounds. She knows, but really doesn't want to know. Then too she always had a stubborn streak all the while ignoring what we on the outside would think of as “having made plans.” Especially in having a will. There is more, including what she would like to have done with the business she owns.
We are different, one from another. Still most of us understand that there are general principles at stake, and we should pay some attention to them. The Irish are blessed in what we think about Death. We mock him while toasting life. We know that inevitably he will knock on the door and our time will be up. And when he does, The Grim Reaper will appear to have the last laugh. But no, those of us who believe in Heaven will still outfox him.
Perhaps planning for tomorrow may be easier for those of us in our 80s; those who as the late Jimmy Breslin used to say “can hear the gentle flapping of angel wings.” Still for one and all it's just smart money to Be Prepared, as good Boy (and Girl) Scouts always are. Think about our friends who left us far too early. We never know when it's time to go. That's for sure.
My wife, she whom I mention from time to time in my columns and blogs, is a very caring lady. This is certainly good for me. But she also truly cares for others beyond This Old Leprechaun. She burdens herself mercilessly because she feels that somehow in some way she can make a difference with this younger woman next door who is dying. She can't. And part of this burden that is resting on her fair shoulders does lie with our lady next door who didn't plan at all. Now all the worry, work and the what-should-have-been-dones are left to people who can only guess. And will be forever second-guessing themselves about whether this or that is what the dying lady had wanted.
The message is to tell people what you want done now, before it's too late to do anything about it.