My last goodbye … maybe
I was reading a post by my online friend, Mz T, as I refer to her. She has gone into a nursing home as the insults of aging have caught up with her and it became increasingly difficult for her to tend to herself. That reality isn’t far from me, though no one gets to choose the time or circumstances of their enfeebleness and death. I have been reading the patriarchs in the Bible who would call their children in to bless them before they died and thought to myself how cool that would be. When it is time, do your housecleaning, lay down and fold your hands over your chest and go to sleep.
But I’ll most likely make my grand exit from a low budget nursing home with indifferent caregivers and no family. Not that I deserve or plan on having my family around when that happens. My path in life wasn’t so family oriented. Snooks may be around if she is still mobile, but who knows? Her plan is to beat me to the door, but I am not so sure I will let her.
Mz T got me to thinking that I had better prepare myself for that time of abandonment. Once those doors close, Lethe vapors chill of forgetfulness begin to seep through the cracks in the floors and I’ll be forgotten by family and friends. I am not resentful that in time I’ll be another footnote in someone’s genealogy. My time came, and it went. At least all this sounds good on paper, but the proof is in the living and dying. I hope I can prepare myself for that time.
I have always felt that everyone essentially dies alone, even when surrounded by family and friends. It is a solitary path and there are no visible markers. Will I sleep? Will I wake in paradise? If there is an afterlife, will those whom I have terribly wronged forgive me? It will not matter. I cannot command death to stop.
I have had a rich and full life, though there were moments that I am not very proud of. I think the loneliness is the hard part. In spite of my crust, I am not a total isolationist. I need some interaction even if it is only online. Y’all aren’t going to be there, even those of you who have good intentions. And I’ll wonder about you, and I’ll wonder about Snookums. And I’ll wonder about the mutts. And what happened to my car. And my home. To you, it just vanishes. To me, I wonder, then draw that final breath.
When I sat down to write this, I was intending to work out in my mind how I was going to discipline myself when that time came, but perhaps there isn’t a discipline for that. One turns their head to the far horizon, and the voices nearby fade. Perhaps that is why the day begin to flit by when you age, and by the time that the Master calls you home, the time is shortened and you don’t notice the long passage.
But I assure you, I am not sad. I do not need to be comforted …
… save that for my anger at the mechanic that did a crappy job repairing my lawn mower …