“I began to realize that coming in such close contact with my own mortality had changed both nothing and everything. Before my cancer was diagnosed, I knew that someday I would die, but I didn’t know when. After the diagnosis, I knew that someday I would die, but I didn’t know when. But now I knew it acutely. The problem wasn’t really a scientific one. The fact of death is unsettling. Yet there is no other way to live.”
― Paul Kalanithi, When Breath Becomes Air
Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat.
Every hour wounds. The last one kills. —Popular Latin inscription on sundials.
She woke up with a pounding headache, and slowly, the memories from her dreams the night before start trickling in.
A woman on her deathbed. Her eyes are bleak, and her skin clings to her bones. An eerie, gargle-like sound escapes her lips—the “death rattle,” they call it.
“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
-2 Corinthians 4: 16-18 (NIV)
I don’t know how to write this post.
I’ve thought it through multiple times, but I still don’t know how to capture the last few weeks of my life. Surreal, overwhelming, life-changing—are words that instantly come to mind, but they fall short. It’s not that “there are no words,” but more like there’s too much to say. From making important career decisions to coping with loss and mourning, I have a lot to process. A whole cocktail of emotions—too incomprehensible, terrible, and wonderful for a 800 word blog post. This is real life.
There are things I can’t write. Things too painful, too raw, too close to home. Things that weigh heavy on my soul, yet are also so much bigger than me. Even so, I feel compelled to write because I don’t want to forget. And aren’t these the things worth writing about?
Nothing is more sad than the death of an illusion.
― Arthur Koestler
Mrs. Henderson was clearly losing the battle against her yard. Weeds had taken over most of it, and the overgrown grass hid a few newspapers scattered across the lawn.
Kate sighed as she picked up yet another newspaper on her driveway. She lazily threw it over the fence to join the others on Mrs. Henderson’s yard. To the dismay of both women, the Tribune never seemed to deliver the paper to the right house. Even after numerous complaints.
All Kate wanted to do was take off her heels and relax in front of the television with a glass of wine, which is exactly what she did. It had been a lousy Monday.