Death

I finally got around to reading Carlo Rovelli's Seven Brief Lessons On Physics. Wonderful, mind blowing book. In it though he expresses doubt that we will last as a species. Given how many species, including our own ancestors, have come and gone – and combined with our current self destructive activities – he's pessimistic.

While showing Penny how to do something online with our finances yesterday I made some comment about it being important that she learn how to do it herself as I won't always be around. She got upset.

I visited my parents at the weekend. They are both in their eighties. Mum used the phrase "when I'm gone" a couple of times in conversation. I have no idea how I will cope when they go.

Life is such an amazing adventure but much of its meaning is down to the fact that it is finite. It comes to an end. How we feel about this, and how this knowledge of our inevitable demise conditions our behaviour while we are here, matters.

And yet we struggle with thinking about it at all, hide it behind hospital doors, pretend it won't happen, and act as if life is a blank cheque.

I was going to make a joke about this, as we usually do, and call this post "A cheery topic for a Monday morning". I decided not to.

4 thoughts on “Death”

  1. It’s healthy to talk to your parents about death, if only to give them reassurance. Having lost my mother early, I’m glad we chatted a bit about what she wanted in terms of her gravestone. I really regret changing the subject when she said to me, after battling cancer for months, having earlier made the decision to fight, ‘I don’t think I’m going to make it.’ With my father, I learned to hear him out when he made similar comments to your mother some years ago, and I told him while I would miss him, it was OK if he ever wanted to go. And I’m glad I did, since he now has Alzheimer’s disease and cannot speak.

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  2. I lost both my parents relatively young. My Mum passed over a decade ago, and Dad earlier than that. You will cope, even if you find it unimaginable now. And you won’t suffer my greatest regret – that neither of my parents were alive to see their grandchildren born, and to get to know them.
    But yes, the earlier you have those conversations, the better. It makes a difference in the difficult times.

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    1. Thanks Adam. I am sorry you lost your parents before they could get to know your very cute daughters. I am very conscious how lucky I am that mine are both around well into their eighties.

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