Life is also a process. It is much like our RiverRoom projects, without professional layouts or blueprints. Our sketches and plans altered, with additions and deletions, as we work the process to the end.
The visible end product of life is death.
Daily I am confronted with the garb of death and its hand-me-downs. With my older sister death in December, I am now working on two estates – hers and her husband – processing the tatters of both their lives. Their lives ended but the conversations go on… through their mail which brings unwanted magazines, pleas from various fear-mongers for their continuing contributions, or urgent notification to purchase life insurance before it is too late. Phone conversations vary between legal consultations with a trusted, patient lawyer to vexing reiterations of details with an only-on-out-put realtor.
Other hangers in this wardrobe of death:
A dear sister-friend with husband and mother both in Hospice care.
The shrinkage of the number of remaining high school classmates.
My birthday last month, with the grinding down of energy and agility.
Finalizing grave markers for my parents whose deaths were years ago.
And, then our best cat dies.
All of us are processing our way to the end. Bucket Lists have become a way of pushing us to give attention to our goals, to leaving a legacy, and to end earthly life well. But, to me, a Bucket List feels like a glass-half-empty focus on the imminent doom of death. Delightedly, I found a kindred spirit in Leana Delle. Her TEDx talk, “Don’t Live Each Day As If It Were Your Last,” has reminded me of the “gift of future days.” Her advice is to “live each day as if it is your first – full of wonder and appreciation while discovering a genuine sense of joy.”
Ponderables: “For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.” – Kahlil Gibran