Friday, June 26, 2009

on death, dying and choosing to live

Yesterday two icons died. We mourn their loss. We think back upon their lives and the memories we have of them. Meanwhile, J is in LA visiting a friend battling breast cancer, while another fights the fight to survive. Two of my family members have died of cancer −my mother to a cruel and perverse disease. To date I know twenty people who are fighting the fight, or who have survived another year, or have lost the battle. I am one person who knows twenty and this does not include the ten or so that died of AIDs back in the day.

I think of my father who attends funerals on a regular basis now. He is 87 and his friends that are dying are of the same age. Only a few of his friends died young. Most of the people I speak of are my age or younger. Just few a little order.

And so I sit and ask myself, am I doing what I want with my life? Do I spend my hours and days living my life or just biding time until I can get to where I am going? Life is short we say. And it is. I ask myself, if I were diagnosed today would i have regrets about what i have done with my life? Would I feel proud of the person that I am? But most importantly, would i spend the rest of my days doing what I am doing presently? The answer doesn’t take much consideration. It is NO. I would spend my days, reading, writing, doing art and helping others. I would spend my days growing, spreading my wings, laughing, and making other people laugh. I would fill as much space with laughter. I would spend my time trying to be a better person in every way, and I would start with the small stuff…like being a better listener. I would try to get back to being the person I was before I was hurt so many times. Get back to giving even if I don’t get back in return. I have put up walls. I have stopped listening, I have stopped offering my hand, I have closed myself in and I want to get back out. I want to smile more, I want to stop worrying… about everything….HAKUNA MATATA….that is what I learned from my Godchild today…it’s from the Lion King apparently…no worries for the rest of your days. I like that. And when I worry about money, I need only remember what a spiritual guru (whose name I do not recall) once said when asked, “and where will I get the money to do this?” - “from where ever it is now” he replied. Sounds like an answer to me.

So,NO. the answer is NO. I would not be spending my days sitting around and waiting to hear what I am supposed to do next. I would be doing what I am supposed to be doing. I would be living my life.