When I retired as a humanist celebrant I thought I'd stop writing this blog, but my fascination with all things death-related prompted more posts. They're just written from a slightly different perspective, that's all. Oh, and I still do the odd one, by special request.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

You just never know when you'll go...

Lucius Annaeus Seneca, known as Seneca the Younger, who lived in Rome from about 4 BC to AD 65, wrote about the fear of death:
No one is so ignorant as not to know that he must die one day … You will go where all things go … This happened to your father, your mother, your ancestors, everyone who came before you; it will happen to everyone who comes after you. A succession that is never broken and which no power can change has bound all things and draws them all together … did you not imagine that you yourself would not at some time arrive at that point to which you were always travelling? There is no journey without an ending.
My mum died of a cerebral haemorrhage on Christmas Eve 1990, minutes after demonstrating to some children at a Christmas party that she could still kick her own height at the age of seventy-seven. It was six months after my dad died of cancer, ending a year's suffering, and Mum had declared that she didn't want to go like him, so she got her wish, though it was a shock for us. I've known people react with disbelief when a relative died at Christmas, spoiling their holiday, but death doesn't care.

There are some lessons about life and death from the obituaries in the Canadian publication, MacLean's by Michael Friscolanti. He wrote that he learned:
Find love, if possible, and follow that love wherever it leads. Be yourself, whoever that is. When the bell tolls, money really does mean nothing. The reaper doesn’t accept bribes. Don’t feel sorry for yourself (and if you must, keep it short). 
This is just a summary - click on the link for more.

None of us knows how long we've got, so Carpe Diem folks, and Happy New Year. Oh, and to save any confusion, make a will.