For The Greater Good: Gratitude, Or, A Short Analysis of a Friend’s Passing
It’s coming for all of us.
There’s no avoiding it, at least not yet, no technological means to fend it off, no place to run and no place to hide. It will find you, regardless of what you do to hide. There is no stealth technology that will keep you hidden from it. There is no planet you can travel to to escape its grip.
We are, of course, talking about death.
Death and taxes, or so the old saying goes.
There’s no avoiding either.
One of my colleagues and a friend has been diagnosed with cancer that has metastasized. This is no bueno. This means her time is extremely limited.
She’s about my age.
This could happen to me.
But the truth is: this could happen to you, no matter your age or physical condition. You might be a vegan ultramarathoner who has never let pass your lips a single grain of sugar, lived a near-perfect healthy life.
It doesn’t matter. If cancer wants to find you, it will.
And, it’s not just cancer. It could be a car crash, or like the neighbor across the street, a burst blood vessel in the brain.
It could be a meteorite from space. The dinosaurs didn’t wake up that fateful day 65 million years ago thinking it would be their last.
It just happened one day, the whole course of history on this planet altered forever.
Or, it could just be you, like my colleague and friend, going to the doctor one day because of pain or pressure here or there, and: BAM — cancer that has metastasized.
The point here is not about death, but about life, about what we do before this inevitable death, and recognizing that it is coming, no matter what, no matter who you are, no matter how much money or power or beauty or status you have attained: death is the great equalizer.
We all end up six feet under.
We can’t ignore this. Or, we shouldn’t ignore this. We ignore that at our own peril, because if we ignore this fact, we start to take life and all it has to offer for granted, like tomorrow is…