2012: a time to accept our mortality

Well, here we are at the start of 2012. Normally I wouldn’t hesitate in wishing everyone a Happy New Year.  But somehow I can’t bring myself to use the word ‘happy’.  Not when we are confronted by such global uncertainty.

Yet on a twelve miles walk yesterday across magnificent Cotswold countryside it was easy to forget the seriousness of what humanity is facing.  Thank goodness for that.  I think the human spirit can take so much gloom and despondency before it innately begins to seek out something to soothe and calm the soul.

The walk certainly did that for me.  It always makes me marvel to know – and trust – that the untidy mess of mouldy undergrowth and all those tight brown buds on skeletal branches will turn within not-so-many weeks into verdant hedgerows and flourishing trees.

For me, this cycle of life and death is truly miraculous and hope-filled.  So hope-filled that when I returned home, I updated my living will (also known as Advanced Decision). This clearly states that I do not wish to receive life prolonging treatments or to be resuscitated if and when my quality of life deteriorates beyond what is acceptable to me.  This includes dementia related illnesses.  It was witnessed by a close friend, with a willing and enthusiastic flourish of her pen.  That is what I call a New Year present.

Setting aside the current cross-party political debate about who is  going to pay for end-of-life care for increasing numbers of elderly people, I believe that taking personal responsibility for how I want to end my life is the most significant decision I can make for my family, and, indeed, for society as a whole.

Dying back in the natural world is about clearing away the ‘old’ to make room for the new.  It is also about dead vegetation creating rich compost for fresh life to thrive.

Unfortunately it appears that humanity is hell-bent on trying to cheat this fundamental law of nature. But it won’t work. Nature is already fighting back, in ways that we can’t – or don’t want to – imagine.

So my 2012 New Year wish is for us all to stop chasing the illusive state of happiness.  Rather, I wish for us to learn to embrace and accept our mortality. By doing so, maybe we can experience what it feels like to truly give back to each other.

4 thoughts on “2012: a time to accept our mortality

  1. It’s high time you went boating full-time, Sue! 🙂

    We’ve just had our boat repainted in Braunston – and spent the Christmas period returning her back to base. It’s the first time we’ve actually been cruising on a Christmas day!

  2. I agree with everything apart from choose happiness. In my own experience, I’m not sure we can choose to be happy as a permanent state of being. I think we can choose to improve our lives, so we can feel more peaceful with who we are, and what we do. That leads to contentment.

    By knowing life in the way I do, it seems we are constantly facing a state of emotional and spiritual flux. As Buddha said, no matter how good or bad things may seem, ‘this too will pass.’ I like that. It makes me appreciated the moment for what it is. For me, life is about making peace with myself so, as Bronnie Ware points out, when I am on my deathbed, I can accept my death without regrets.
    S x

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s