When I was diagnosed as seriously ill, I started to prepare for the ultimate catastrophe: being dead. That really would be a bump in the road to recovery.
Funnily enough I was actually least concerned about me. Perhaps it’s common in serious conditions. I know very little about a terminal diagnosis and the emotional impact on people. All I could think about was how it would affect everyone around me.
I’ve always been terrified of my own mortality. My wife will confirm it’s been my biggest fear for a number of years. This brain tumour is likely to shorten my life but now my biggest fear is the way in which I’ll pass away. Supposing the tumour starts to grow again, all of my symptoms will return. It’s likely to be a very painful end which I find scary. I imagine I’ll be sedated and made unaware of this pain. This makes me even more fearful for my loved ones, having to see me in such a state and presumably in hospital. How will they cope?
My imaginary funeral started to form in my mind. I found myself selecting songs I’d like to be played and writing a wish list of what I’d like to happen. It would be a big day for everyone.
We did the hard work of making wills and trying to think what might be the best outcome. Doing such a task really makes you think of what will happen to those you love and how to pass on as much of your estate as possible. It’s also a reality check; you can’t take it with you. It’s made me scrutinise my own spending habits and I wonder if all the things I’ve ever bought were really just testament to modern day consumerism. This does not, obviously, apply to the cars I’ve purchased.
So I need to get a grip which is why this post is short and to the point. This is a very gloomy outlook and not within my control. It might be a good idea to jot down what I’d like to happen. That would at least ease the stress of anyone wondering what my wishes would be and whether I’d approve. But it’s not something I’m prepared to dwell on any longer. It’s a waste of effort that’s better expended in the life I have now. My resources are precious enough as they are and to fritter them away on something beyond the end of my life seems careless at best.
What I can do is focus on the present and near future. I need to interact with the current situation. No one’s really in control of the way their lives end no matter what happens and it’s perhaps helpful to modify my thinking that I’m like everyone else just on a compressed timescale.
I’m still able to do a lot of things at the moment so I’d better get busy living.