“I don’t want to die and I pray every day.“
-Kitty, Pancreatic cancer victim interviewed on NPR 2004.
Hospice care is care for individuals who are terminally ill, which means unlike the rest of us who will die eventually, these people will do so very shortly. Pancreatic cancer has the lowest five-year survival rate for both men and women – around 2 per cent and 3 per cent respectively. It must be an interesting thing to know that you will die and within a short and fixed period. During the interview with Kitty she mentions how she has to make plans for the future, to turn over her life to those that she loved. She lets her children cook Christmas dinner, she won’t be able to do it next year. She takes a cruise with her friends. She spends a vacation in the winter on a sunny beach. She tells everyone she loves how much they mean, and they write her letters. She fears death.
Among my peer group, with one exception, most of us shun the idea of mortality and our deaths. I think it is natural to fear death, bu we don’t or at least I don’t,because I don’t think about it. I don’t acknowledge it. here is an anonymous quote from Alpha Centauri that I love about this point:
I sit in my cubicle, here on the motherworld.
When I die, they will put my body in a box and
dispose of it in the cold ground.
And in all the million ages to come, I will never
breathe or laugh or twitch again.
So won't you run and play with me here among the
teeming mass of humanity?
The universe has spared us this moment.
I don’t think it is morbid to live life focusing on death. I think it is simply facing the future that no one wants to accept. A future where all our memories and experiences will disappear with us. And the memory of who we are and what we have done with pass with our family and friends, and for that to be meaningful, for it to matter, we have to love today. We have to be respectful today. We have to do what we want, to live the way we should now. Because on our death bed our regrets won’t matter much. Man, the movie Magnolia said it way better than I could.
I'm happy so don't you be sad. And I love you all more than I show. I'll try to show more.