Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about dying. Turning fifty last week made me speculate on how many years may be left for me. If I were live to be 100, then I have now at my zenith. Given family genetics etc. I suspect a only few decades at most remain.
Either way I am in the decline, walking into the sunset.
Death and dying are not strangers. Between my professional and personal lives I am continually reminded of mortality. As a physician I encounter a lot of dying people, and of course as a gay man who has lived through the 80s and 90s I have had my share of death.
It is one thing in the abstract, but it is very different to have certain knowledge you are going to die. I am fascinated by the ending of the series “Six Feet Under”: in it, a young girl has the vision of how all her loved ones will someday die.
C.G. Jung’s psychology focuses primarily on the second part of life viz. what happens as we go into the sunset. It is hoped all of us appreciate we are going to die long before we actually do so. Like this video, our deaths will be unplanned, surprising, and have no rhyme, reason, nor justice.
So what does one do knowing death is imminent? I hope it evokes us to be as whole as we can be, and to give up trivial matters and needless worries, and live life as well as possible. So when death comes – in whatever form Fate delivers onto us – we can say we beheld a marvelous story.