From the day we arrive on the planet
And, blinking, step into the sun
There’s more to see than can ever be seen
More to do than can ever be done
There’s far too much to take in here
More to find than can ever be found
But the sun rolling high
Through the sapphire sky
Keeps great and small on the endless round
It’s the circle of life
And it moves us all
Through despair and hope
Through faith and love
Till we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the circle
The circle of life
~ Elton John, Tim Rice
Many people do not feel comfortable talking about death, but guess what, we’re all going to die. Yep, it’s true. We’re born, we live, and then we die. It’s the circle of life.
Weeks ago I met with my Rabbi to start planning my funeral. Many friends thought this would be upsetting for me to do, but I found it to be rather comforting. I like to be prepared and I like to do things my way.
I learned that preparing to die involves lots of planning. Part of the planning involves choosing a funeral parlor, a cemetery, a casket, a gravestone and the type of service you would like. Healthcare proxies and Wills need to be updated as well. Mark and I will do this together. I’m happy that I can help now so this burden doesn’t all fall on Mark. I think planning for your death is something everyone should take advantage of while they can.
I’ve been working on my legacy for my family. Journals for my children are almost complete and I’ve been teaching Mark how to prepare some of his favorite food dishes. I really need to teach that man how to use our fancy oven. To convection, or not?
When I met with my oncologist, Dr. M, two weeks ago, I told her I met with my rabbi and we started to plan my funeral. She told me I was doing well right now, but it was a good idea to plan. This led me to ask some questions.
As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I’m on a new treatment. Dr. M is aware that I like to know what the future holds for me, and she’s comfortable answering my questions. I asked her what happens if this new treatment does not work. She explained there may be clinical trials that I could participate in or other chemotherapies to try, but there will come a time when treatments may become dangerous if I become too ill.
During this past spring/summer I got a taste of being very ill. It was just awful in so many ways. I remember saying I was not ready to die, not the way you’re thinking, but because I was not prepared. I used to be superstitious, believing that if I was prepared it would speed up my death. I don’t feel that way anymore.
There are so many things I would like to see and do, and I hope to have the time to do them. When the time comes to leave this planet, I’ll take comfort knowing I was ready, and that I prepared my family to move on.