Death is usually a dark topic, but there are two reasons why it’s on my mind:
1) Recently the Man has received news of a several people passing away, and because he has the maturity to accept death I don’t see him cry but I still hear the tinge of sadness in his voice when he says, “It’s natural, we all have to go someday.” Despite the truth in his comment, the end of someone’s life is still a heavy loss for those left behind.
2) Death is but the final step in life, and one beat ahead of that is aging. In the last year, I’ve begun to see my parents more as their age because it’s becoming glowingly clear that youth is escaping them. They tire more easily, they have daily medicine to take, they can’t handle as many thing on their place – it’s a odd thing watching your parents grow. My sister and I have accepted that the line between who is taking care of who is starting to blur and we try to arrange our schedule based on our parents so someone is always home to be with them. Once, they did the same to look after us.
I don’t like the way the aging process is looked at – as if it’s something to be dreaded and delayed for as long as possible. All the creams and lotions that defy wrinkles and spots, all the hair dyes that hide the coloring of wisdom, botox, tummy tucks, face lifts – I intend to never use any of them. I wish there was a way to emphasize the beauty in aging. When I’m old, I want extra wrinkles from years of laughing, and I want to comb the gray in my hair from a life of living. When my bones are frail, I want to hold my Man’s hand and support each other as we cross the street and I never want a birthday cake to lie about how many years I’ve lived.
I also don’t want to be naive about death. The first time death hit me hard was when I was 14 and a close friend of mine passed away. Probably because I was so young, death has always left me uncomfortable and it’s not a topic I can joke about. But “growing up”, I’m beginning to see the beauty of death – and I’m slowly understanding just how important death is to life. I often say “everything is relative” and it applies to living as well – life is relative to death, and dying is just as important as living. Seems like a paradox, but it’s not really. Though there won’t be a welcome mat for the Grim Reaper I want to be able to embrace it as much as I embrace air in my lungs.
I’m actually looking forward to aging. Immortality is only nice in theory, and even then I wouldn’t want it. That being said, there’s that saying that’s floating in the back of my mind – “We all want to go to heaven, but no one wants to die to get there.”