Thursday, January 26, 2012

What do we say to death? "Not Today..."

My friend Chris' mom died this week after being transferred to hospice. When someone is in hospice, you pretty much know they're not going to be around much longer. My friend Marie's husband has had COPD for years and other lung related issues, and he got pneumonia on Thursday and went to the hospital. Sunday morning he passed away. One does not expect that.

Chris knew this was coming, and I think there is a lot of relief for him. Marie, on the other hand, didn't exactly see this coming. I think she thought he'd be coming home on Monday morning.

I've been reading the George R.R. Martin books, "A Song of Ice and Fire," which HBO started making into movies with the first book "A Game of Thrones." In the series, the ancient language has a phrase of Valar Morghulis, which is "All Men Must Die." It is known. It is indeed known.

Right now I feel sad for my friends, their families, and the loss. The flip side of the coin is Valar Dohaeris, which is "All Men Must Live." And the reading at today's funeral for Marie's husband was from Ecclesiastes, the famous "To every thing there is a season" passage.

While it is true that all men must die, it is also true all men must live. The thing is, you have control over the latter and not the former. All of us can say to death, as Arya Stark is told by her sword teacher, "Not Today."


It's been a rough time for me where getting out of bed some days is hard, getting INTO bed sometimes is hard. Sleeping at appropriate times is hard. Trying to keep my thoughts straight is difficult. A lot of things are beyond my control, but what I decide to do with the hours of my day for the most part I can control. And I choose to live the life I'm supposed to live.

At least, I hope I can and do.

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