I am not numbering this post as a plus to aging. The reason? I have a complaint. I guess I am entitled to one negative day. What did I just say? I am entitled? Well now how about that? I see where being entitled to complain is actually a positive thing by virtue of my years. So to exercise my well earned right to complain , here I go.
As you know if you have read any of my previous posts, I have made a decision to look at the bright side of growing old. And I mean growing old as in having more days of living under my belt than my two and a half year old grand-daughter. I know, I know, you are only as old as you feel. Ttrrrrrrrrrruuuuuuuuuuuue. At least that cliche is a comforting one. And by that definition I am a mere teenager, no make that a young adult. Gall bladder removal does add a few years to my mental age.
But to get back to complaining. As hard as I try to be positive as I rush towards that great pearly gate in the sky, there is a barrage of media that will make the ride as turbulent as it can. The latest is the ad by the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Do they HAVE to make DEATH such an evil entity. Does our society have to portray Death as the devil himself? Are we meant to tremble in terror when we reach the inevitable? There is a paradox here.
When a person gets to palliative care we try to transition him to a place of serenity and acceptance. We surround him with love, loving memories , family , meaningful treasures and reassurances. Isn’t that how it should be? After all it is the next natural step. But if I were to go to palliative care today, I would not be able to trust the voices who console me. Particularly if it were a person from any association that deals death a poor hand. Surround me with honest people young or old, who are not living in denial. Send in someone old like me and ready to go . Someone who has accepted the ride and will join me soon .
The ad I refer to by the Heart and Stroke Foundation is akin to a horror movie clip. A drippingly seductive voice cons us into thinking of a lover pursuing his fantasy. Then the tone becomes ominous , taunting , sneering. It is DEATH talking. And the message is he is coming for you, particularly if you are female. And me. I don’t like this portrayal. Death is as much our friend as our enemy. It is not Death but the disease we might fear. Or the pain we might resist.
I wonder how chronologically young the person who came up with that ad is. At my end of the spectrum, and at risk of sounding macabre, I would prefer a more charming reminder that my friend , Death , is waiting for me with open arms. We have to change our whole way of thinking. At least now when someone dies there is a move to celebrate his life. Wonderful. Celebrate life. He , too, is our friend and understandably we would like to enjoy his companionship as long as we can .
But, the reality is that our last breath could be any minute. So , for now,I will just bask in my advancing years and ignore all the ghoulish fear mongering that is so ubiquitous these days. And when Death comes, hopefully I will meet him without fear that is if the media doesn’t fry my living brain first.