I turned 67 on August 1st. I received a message from the only older sibling I have left, reminding me that 72+ is the goal. Neither of my deceased older brothers made it to 72. This presents a bit of a strange novelty to us because in the generation before us, most of them lived so long, I wondered if they might ever die!
However, today is the anniversary of a beautiful boy I knew for a very brief time when he was in year 7 and this morning I received word of the death of someone the same age as me, ovarian cancer, I was also supposed to attend a funeral today. It meant a long road trip but a tummy bug after a 50th birthday party at the weekend put the kybosh on that! August 16 marks 6 years since my Mum’s death. All of this has set me to thinking!
The little boy was Josh. He was 12, in year 7. Funny, clever, just finding his feet and letting his teachers know he had ” arrived” in high school. He died on the way to school – an undiagnosed congenital heart defect took his life but saved his brother after he too was diagnosed with what had been an unknown thief of life until Josh’s death. My school contemporary was a teacher. We were not friends but we shared mutual respect for each other I think. Her Mum died recently – a long life, well lived and well loved although alzheimers took her essence before death claimed her body! My 50 year old friend is a magnificent Aboriginal woman who I admire and love! Unlike so many of her family she has made it to 50!
In thinking on all of this I have come to believe that death is not to be feared. No one gets out of here alive – as social media reminds us! But when I do get out of here, I hope I will leave love and hope as my legacy.. I hope too that my words wil find their way to people’s hearts as my stories, told by my children and grandchildren, perhaps by some of the people I taught are told. I hope that the telling of them will elicit laughter and compassion, hope and empathy. And in all of that, I know that love will never die!