I don’t like thinking about death, really.
Big Surprise. Not many people do. But this morning I read an article in the New York Times that had me thinking in detail about death and — I didn’t mind because the woman whose death I was reading about, whose death I was thinking about — she allowed her impending death, to be her excuse to really live.
In her book The Woman at the Washington Zoo, Marjorie Williams, a writer for The Washington Post, writes:
“Who will talk to my darling daughter when she gets her period? Will my son sustain that sweet enthusiasm that he seems to beam most often at me? There are days when I can’t look at them — literally, not a single time — without wondering what it would do to them to grow up without a mother. What if they can’t remember what I was like? What if they remember and grieve, all the time?
“What if they don’t?”
Last January, at the age of 47, Marjorie Williams died. Her husband Timothy, her 9 year old daughter Alice and her 12 year old son, no doubt miss her very much. Timothy says that Marjorie was “more alive than anyone” and that she had a gift for ” seeing people whole”.
She shares so generously in her book:
“Chemotherapy would knock me into a passive misery for days. And then — depending on which formula I was taking at the time — a day would come and I would wake up much like a normal person.
Whether the bad time I had just had lasted five days or five weeks, some inner voice eventually said — and still says — Never mind. Today is a ravishing day, and I will put on a short skirt and high heels and see how much of the future I can inhale.”
I don’t like thinking about death, really. But putting on a short skirt and high heels and seeing
“how much of the future I can inhale” –
I could think about that all day long.