Biological aging is something that none of us can avoid, despite our culture’s attempt to keep youth alive. To age is a privilege, a sign that you, as a living organism are alive with the glory of existence. However, at some point death becomes all of us and our time here on this Earth must parish. Our awareness for our own mortality ceases to subsist, as we often don’t recognize that one-day our life will end. Perhaps abruptly, perhaps not. But when one is diagnosed with a disease such as cancer, the consideration of death becomes more evident.
Within my cancer diagnosis, my thoughts on dying have been rare, but my thoughts on death itself have been frequent. I’ve tried considering what is worse, dying or being the one left behind. For me, I presume that dying would be the simpler route, as everyone here would be left to mourn and grieve and in death, hopefully, it is bliss.
The distraction of death itself has become more repeated simply because of people. Anything I watch on television reminds me that cancer is tantamount to expiry. The persons whom are talked about in the cancer arena are often deceased. But, with all do respect; what about the survivors? It’s daunting to have every conversation start with, “so and so had X-type of cancer and fought a hard battle, but died…” Every single program on television discusses cancer and then death.
The other pressing issue I have on death versus survivorship is also a sense of guilt. People cannot pre-determine if they are going to be a survivor of life, or cancer, therefore how can we dub one against the other. I feel that those who fought and died are just as much survivors as anyone who actually survived. They survived the furrows of cancer, whether they cease to remain physically or not.
Death and all of his friends lurks around every corner, despite whether or not you are diseased or completely in good health. It is possible at any point that our mortality in this transience life may be taken away. The concept of death and dying are two different things, but then again so is the concept of life and living. For now I am going to remind myself that death is real, no one is insusceptible of it. But thinking about it constantly will not do me any good, it will drive me mad and as my brilliant husband said to me tonight as I was discussing death, “Once you start talking like that, your mindset changes. Be strong, it’s not your time.”
I can’t help but think of death from time to time, but I can help how I chose to live. I am going to live as though I am dying, take every breath with an appreciation; accept every Birthday with gratitude and welcome biological aging, for not everyone is able to do so.