When I think of mortality, I think of people whose lives are cut short due to illness, accidents or violence. Like my mother, who was only 32 years old when she died of cancer in the late 1950’s. Her death came much too quickly, less than a year from the time she received the news until the time she died. I was much too young to have first-hand knowledge of the events surrounding her death, but I can imagine what it must have been like for her. The fear she felt must have cut her like a knife.
Fear not only for herself and fear for the husband she loved and her baby daughter who she would not see grow up. There must have been anger, how could there not be? We all expect long life and she was cheated. Thirty is barely getting started. I hope there was acceptance, just so she had some peace in the end. I often wonder what her good-bye to me was like. How can anyone hold their child, knowing it is the last time. The pain must have been worse than anything the cancer threw at her.
Dying puts life into perspective. I wish I knew my mother’s dreams, the ones she was unable to fulfill because of an early death. Would she have lived her life differently had she known she was going to die so soon? I will never know because death locks that door and throws away the key. But I’m pretty certain she is like the rest of us and thought there’s always tomorrow. But what we forget is that tomorrow is always borrowed time.