Death is all around me at the moment, but I don't mean in a bad way. How much of a paradox is that, or is it an oxymoron? I always get the two muddled. No, death is definitely on my mind, but it isn't in a depressing way or a self pitying way. No, it is rather on my mind like a trip to the supermarket, or getting the children ready for a new school term.
I think of it as something to be approached practically and thoughtfully. I have considered visiting the local hospice to prepare myself, thinking of making a living will so that my wishes are respected, and of going to an undertaker's to find out what the options are and how much they are. My relatives and friends won't want to have all those worries as well as the fact that I will be gone.
My children, luckily, are to a large extent taken care of, or at least they will be materially and will be supported through my death by my family and by their father, who is a superb one. Of that I need not worry too much. Of course I do worry, especially on the emotional front, but with hope, I will be around for a while longer to teach them how to become their own best friends, to learn how to ask for help from others, and to learn how to take it.
So apart from that, it is really the practicalities that I am concerned with. I have thought about planning my funeral; I listen to songs with one eye on playing them on that occasion. I have considered poems to be read, whether my children should be there and whether they might want to play a part in it. All these things are probably to be discussed further down the line, when they know the truth and when we can talk about these openly. For now, it is still too early and they still have too much of their lives to run. Innocence is too precious a quality to be taken away now.
And epitaphs...hmmm.... I haven't had any ideas yet but there is yet time and I think that is why I am still being so open about death. When it isn't impending, it isn't as frightening. It is still something that I can discuss openly and clearly and I want to make those difficult decisions now, whilst I am still of relatively healthy body and mind. I don't want something which doesn't represent my self at all.
All this talk of death, though, also leads me back to life, and to the goals that I want to achieve. My greatest achievement, of course, is my children. They are gorgeous and a fitting epitaph, if it comes to that. But, also, I have always wanted to write a book. I am finding ideas are difficult but if nothing else, then I have often thought about getting this blog published. But then I also think that most blog writers think the same thing and maybe there is no market, or even that cancer is such a depressing subject that it would have no market.. and then I turn full circle.
Perhaps death is easier to contemplate after all!