Today, a friend shaved his head off. He's getting chemotherapy a month after his cancer diagnosis. It's like a very bad joke seeing his message flash across my screen after I sent a reply to his instagram story: "?????!!!" Suddenly, my worries feel frivolous and trivial. And everyday feels more precious.
A few years ago, an acquaintance passed away after spending years suffering from a heart condition. I hardly remember him–I wish I did. His mother probably thinks of him everyday, and still mourns.
I used to have a fear of being forgotten–I didn't care about being famous, but I wanted to be remembered for... something... So, I had thought up these grand schemes of what I'd do with my life. I'd be the best in my field. I'd be a prodigy. None of which happened, and I don't think I care about doing something grand anymore. What I do care about is having done everything there was to be done.
Having said everything that needs to be said. Maybe it's the product of a very short period of professional exposure I've had so far in medicine: death isn't something that is glamorous in any way. No matter what you've done in life or who you were, you will expire in a bed with (if you're lucky) people crying over you, and with barely any capacity to hold your head up. It's not pretty. No poetry can make it so.
At my deathbed, I'll likely be vegetative and unable to say anything cohesive. At the deathbeds of those I love, they will probably be the same–unable to comprehend what I mean when I tell them that I love them. So, while I am alive: have I said it enough? Have I meant it enough? Will I say as Henry Marsh's mother said as she went: "It's been a wonderful life. We have said everything there is to say."? Probably not. I should work on it.
CS Lewis wrote about how we ask Christ for our day to day instead of for some grandiose future–I understand more and more what he meant. "The present is the only time in which any duty can be done or any grace received."