Every now and then I have a bit of what I call an ‘episode’,  a moment or two when I get somewhat emotional, sometimes tearful, when I think about the whole of my situation and more specifically about dying.  Actually, it is never directly so much about dying, per se, but more about things like what will happen with my kitty, the pet to which I’ve become so attached and who seems more like a person in my life than a pet.  An episode may also involve disappointment with the idea of missing something like my son graduating college.  I had one such even while talking with my big sister about a week ago and her interpretation centered around my seemingly flippant view of my situation, what appears to many a denial of my fate.  In her eyes she feels I fail to accept realities.

For those who know me personally, who have known me for any period of time, know I am somewhat of a lighthearted individual.  My tendencies are to look toward the positive, to find the lemonade in the lemons, to see the good in all the despair.  I tend to be that way with my disease as well, looking at things through what many see as a dark lens, a sort of macabre construct putting the nuances, the inconveniences, ahead of the ultimate fate.  The latest of these centers around the issue of maintaining my ability to void, to defecate i light of all the damage experienced from radiation and the various other ‘treatments’ I’ve undergone.  The issue is constipation and the issue of strain produced hemorrhoids.  My latest response to the question ‘how are you doing?’, is to say the bad news is all the radiation has screwed me up to the point I am getting hemorrhoids; the good news is I won’t have to live with them very long.  That is, in one of many ways, my physical realities not often revealed to the world around me.

While the physical issues are one reality, there are others, more associated with life in general, the non-physical life.  As followers recall, I am in the process of selling my current home with the plan on moving back to where I was born and raised, where the majority of my family resides, where, as I sometimes characterize it, there are more people to dig the hole.  A part of the process is contacting those with whom I made friends with during my time in this area.  It is an interesting process really, reaching out to some whom I see one or twice a year and others more often.  It is in this reaching out, these attempts to make contact, that create a whole new set of realities.

My goal in the outreach is to say goodbye, not just from the sense of leaving the area, but also leaving this life.  Many of the individuals are quite receptive, they welcome the opportunity and recognize its finality.  Others seem a bit more cavalier, less interested, albeit they claim to be good friends, they offer considerable verbiage suggesting there is something more than appearances.  With each, there is a learning experience, an opportunity to see who is there, who really concerns themselves with my situation, who understands my purpose to get together.  In one instance, a case where  went out of my way to get together with one of these individuals, someone who professed great friendship ion the past, who on this occasion made me feel like an acquaintance, perhaps even less.  In many ways I wasn’t surprised, however, I had hoped for something different, I hoped for sincerity.

When I reflect on the conversation with my sister, I think she fails to recognize my construct, the paradigm under which I find myself, the elements of life, and of death, both physical and social.  There are also all of the little things, and things not so little.  For one, what to do with my remains, where should the hole be dug, be that close to my son, or perhaps close to the brood of family.  I put the question to my son, asked him if he really cared where I was in death, if it mattered that he had a place, a grave site, somewhere he could ‘visit’ me.  Then comes the things like will, trusts and all the legalities involved with the end of a life.  These, all realities, while rarely voiced, are omnipresent and not included in the public face, the face which I sustain, which separates my life, from my dying.

Happy reading, happy thoughts and happy trails.

As always, feel free to comment or you may email me at lifeabstractions@gmail.com



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