Earlier this week, the sad news of Rik Mayall’s death was announced resurging a fixation with my own eventual demise. After all, he was only fifty-six – I’m not much younger – and he appears to have got up that day, as usual, and gone for a jog before continuing with the minutiae of living. Then, WHAM!!! Suspected heart attack, and he was gone. How scary is that?
From his perspective, it would have probably been quick, without too much pain (we hope); the pain is to be endured by his loved ones who have been left behind. He seemed to be getting on with life after his near-fatal accident some years ago, so his departure wasn’t a welcome end to the misery of a long protracted illness. (Unlike my father’s fate, a little over three years ago, when my obsession with my mortality began proper.)
Although I’ve been present at many deathbeds – more times than I wish to remember – to witness a patient taking their final breath, it’s only when someone close to you dies that it starts to hit home, and you begin to question how long it might be before your number’s up. We are the next generation on from our parents and, as such, next in line.
I’m not saying this to make you feel depressed and ruin the weekend, but to make you stop and think. As well as not feeling ready to be parted from loved ones – are you ever? – I feel I have so much left to achieve before I shuffle off this mortal coil.
To begin with, I want to be a published author – not with a one-off story, but many times over; I’d like to learn how to speak French reasonably fluently (otherwise those French CDs have been a complete waste of money); there are books I’d like to read; places I want to visit, and I’d like to own a property where the DIY and decorating jobs have all been completed and the house stands in a finished state … all right, that last one is stretching it a bit. You’re not on Grand Designs, you know.
Unfortunately, Death is arbitrary and isn’t prepared to stand by until every item on your bucket list has been ticked off. As appears to be the case for Rik Mayall. His inner circle said he still had so much more to give and do. Even though my father was almost eighty (a young eighty, I might add) when he died, he fought against it right up until the last few days of his life.
So, the moral of this story is don’t sit around waiting for life to happen; grab it by the horns and ride it until it throws you off.
But just in case I don’t exhaust my list before the final curtain – sorry about the clichés; nearly done – comes crashing down, I do hope they offer French lessons on The Other Side.
Copyright: albund / 123RF Stock Photo