The past couple of days have been coincidentally infused with a number of exposures to media with some inference or in one case, more directly, a focus on death.  One program I happened upon was ‘The Bucket List’.  For the uninitiated, ‘The Bucket List’ is a story of two men who meet in the hospital, one a multimillionaire who actually owned the hospital, and the other a well-educated, at least informally so, car mechanic.  The common thread being both were diagnosed with different forms of cancer, both men being considered terminal. While initially antagonistic, the two come together and write a bucket list, a list of some simple and not so simple things to do before they die.  The uncommon thing is the multimillionaire suggests the two embark on completing the list, travelling th globe and cross off each of the items along the way.  They talk about life, and about death and at one point the mechanic said, “nobody wants to die alone”.  it made me wonder, wonder if any of the writers ever really experienced death, if any had a terminal diagnosis, if any really could say definitively, “nobody wants to die alone”.

Yesterday when talking to a good friend we were talking about a time we went out to party.  One thing led to another and my sharing of a time when, in a minor altercation, I described how I told the individual very matter of factly I fear no consequence of any action I might take because cancer would soon take my life.  The interesting thing about this, and what we both found quite humorous, that when one makes peace with oneself, death is no longer a threat, that death is just another part of life and inconsequential in the big scheme of things.

Earlier in the evening I happened to come on a television program called ‘Bones’.  The basics of the program are not relevent other than to say it revolves around the work of a very geeky, female, forensic anthropologist and a FBI agent charged with solving a murder.  In the episode, the woman, who is something of a solitary individual, with no real familial connections, was working on a victim very similar to herself.  With that backdrop, there was a line something to the effect of ‘everyone wants those close to remember them, who will know if they are missing, know when they die.

The majority of my life I always contended I wanted no fanfare around my death, that I wanted it very private.  Many challenged the notion, felt it a position impossible for anyone to adhere to, because, in the end, all fear death, no one wants to die alone and all want to be remembered. As with the lines from the movies, I responded I am not interested in an audience for the event, that it doesn’t matter if anyone knows or remembers me when I die.  Many say it is a matter of my being in some form of denial, that I fail to accept my circumstance and by involving others because, in the end, everyone wants these things.  Interestingly, another line in the movie explained my thoughts nicely, it is that I’m certainly not  everyone, “but everyone is everyone”.  I wonder, as my time comes nearer, will the phrase hold true, will I be everyone?

Happy reading, happy thoughts and happy trails.

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