I am dying.
Every day I awake I am a little closer to the day when I will not wake up to the warmth of my lover lying beside me.
Closer to the day when I will no longer gaze on the faces of my children in wonderment and feel my heart swell with pride and gratitude that they chose me to be in their lives.
Closer to the day when I will hear no more the sound of the ocean roar as I fall asleep, or my cat purring on my lap as I work or my dog barking protectively when a stranger walks past.
Closer to the day when there will be no more “I love you’s” whispered breathlessly in a passionate moment, or called out the door after a departing family member leaving for school or work.
Closer to the day when my eyes will not prickle with proud tears as I watch my nieces, godsons and children putting their all into a school play, or sports game, being honoured at a prize giving, or just blowing out candles on another birthday cake.
Closer to the day when I will not giggle at silly boyish rhymes, or dance in the kitchen to crazy music while making pizza, or dodge flying feet and elbows in a Sunday morning family wrestling match.
Closer to the day when I will not smell the scent of my children warm and clean after a bath, the aroma of coffee lovingly brewed by my lover or the sleepy smell of him left on the pillow next to mine.
Closer to the day when I will not solve the world’s problems with my best friend over a glass (or 3) of wine, or reminisce with her over our hilarious school-girl antics or receive her words of comfort and support reminding me that I am good and strong when I feel anything but.
Closer to the day when I will not work seamlessly by my sister’s side hosting a family gathering and hear her telling me how grateful she is for me and my help, all the while feeling in awe of a little sister who has accomplished so much.
Closer to the day when there will be no more sunrises, or sunsets, no more stargazing, no more kisses, no more laughter, no more tears or comforting hugs and no more possibilities lining up ahead of me just waiting for me to choose one.
Closer to the day when all the things I am going to do, all the words I am going to say, all the adventures I am going to take, all the sentiments I am going to share, all the places I am going to visit, all the books I am going to write will be wiped off the board and the future will cease to exist for me.
Have I been diagnosed with a terminal illness or a strange incurable condition? No, not at all! I was born and on that day, as it is with all creatures given the gift of life, I began dying. And every day after that day has been a day closer to the day when there will be no more days.
Unlike dying, living is not an inevitable result of being born. Unlike dying, living only begins when make the decision to live.
So I have decided to live; to pour all of myself into every experience I have, to hold back nothing of myself when I engage with others, to risk vulnerability and authenticity, to do instead of planning, to ask instead of assuming, to speak instead of hiding, to laugh out loud instead of smiling politely, to write, to dance, to love, to savour the taste of my morning coffee and feel the love stirred into the warm liquid, to allow the interruption and pay attention when an animated child has a story to tell, to take slow walks on the beach when I don’t have time to, to make the telephone call that intimidates me, to jump into the adventure that beckons on the outer fringes of my responsibilities…
You are dying!
When will you decide to start living?