used to wish that my entire family would die in the same plane
was back when I was really young and first learning about death,
so don’t worry. I think it makes sense. I couldn’t imagine life
without those close to me… parents, sisters, grandparents and
while not crystal clear about those days—especially now, forty
or so years removed—I can still remember being in bed at night,
just before drifting off to sleep, and thinking about losing my
family. It was a simple conclusion. If there was just a way that
all of us could die at the same time, none of us would have to
suffer without the others.
mind of a child.
back, I can see the flaws. Flaws that aren’t so apparent when
you’re issuing boarding passes to a flight of doom for everyone
you know. Flaws like deciding when the fight should take place.
Flaws such as the joys of watching your family grow, sharing their
lives, and knowing they carry on after you. Flaws.
I was working on some things, with this leading to that, and a
stat popped up showing the rough estimates of my life expectancy.
Apparently, I’m about sixty percent of the way along my journey.
course, there are no promises. A few extra cheeseburgers… a few
longer walks… the line could really move in either direction.
(And a cheeseburger does sound really good right now.) Still…
line… moving either direction. By a few years. Perhaps several
years. No promises.
and data and sterile realities. No persuasive arguments or additional
twenty years ago, two members of my family moved into a community
that provided senior and assisted living residences. We were there
to help on moving day, and if I’m being honest, it looked pretty
sweet. Dining room and an exercise center. Indoor pool, a game
room and an art studio. A staff to take care of maintenance and
would the remaining forty percent look like to me if I didn’t
have to be concerned with time invested in mowing lawns, cleaning
gutters, making meals, shopping and more? It’s a thinker.
also an interesting frame of reference.
say I began living my life around the time I graduated from college.
Obviously, that’s not completely fair or even accurate. But a
professional career… meeting my wife… major decisions and life
events. Essentially, I still have more time in front of me than
I’ve invested in those accomplishments. (I know my wife will be
thrilled with that sentiment. She’s very excited about spending
that forty percent with me. Very excited. She also won’t tell
me where the life insurance and retirement investment information
is, but I digress.)
I may not be as spry or active as I was years ago, I can still
travel and move about. I think my mind is still sharp.
yet the wall is out there. The end of the road. Like it or not,
it is getting closer.
data and numbers and analysis have placed that wall in a certain
spot, though there are events and circumstances that can move
that wall. None of it changes the fact that there is wall… there
is an end of the road.
the moment you are born, your life is getting shorter. The curve
to the story is none of are given a calendar or clock telling
us how short it is.
me… sixty percent with a ribbon around it.
perspective, isn’t it?
a half-empty, half-full situation.
thing is different though. I no longer think about that particular