Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Done Too Soon

"We are all dying... every day."
~Dr. Jack West

During our first consultation with the oncologist, John asked the doctor, "Am going to die?" And Dr. West answered with the above quote. It stayed with me, and in some way buoyed me through the coming storm. The profound truth in the statement is that none of us knows when or where or how we'll meet our end in this life, but each day we live we are one step closer to that moment.

John made me promise to live well. He didn't expound on what that meant to him. He merely said, "Promise me you'll not only go on living, but that you'll live well." For three years now, those two phrases have been juxtaposed against each other. They've commingled into a single sentence that has become my philosophical crux, that is to say, "Live well, you are dying every day."

It's a hefty thought. It's a thought that at once makes me want to spring into some kind of action, and makes me want to heave a heavy sigh and say, "Oh, please...." How can we live fully without acknowledging that it will be over with at some point, and likely all too soon? Impossible. You eat the feast, you know there'll come a time when the table gets cleared and the dishes get done.

I think about death quite a lot. Don't get me wrong, I don't think about it in a depressed, morbid manner. For me, it's more of an impetus to get my ass in gear, to not take the time I have for granted. I've simply seen too many people leave at too young an age. That being said, if I live to be 150 years old, it won't be enough time.

Weighty thought for a Tuesday, I know. Hopefully, it won't bring you down, rather it will make you charge forward with great verve and and not just a little ferocity, as is my intention.

"...and wept when it was all done,
for bein' done too soon,
for bein' done too soon."
~Done Too Soon, Neil Diamond


  1. Saw the post title and thought of Neil Diamond (been listen to him a lot lately) and then immediately thought of John...all this before even beginning to read your post...
    Spot on Barb.

  2. I've had this tune rolling around in my head for a couple of weeks now. I knew this post was brewing! During the full moon last week, I started singing, "And each one there, has one thing shared... they have sweated beneath the same sun... looked up in wonder at the same moon... and wept when it was all done..."

  3. I was actually going to write a whole different post based on the full moon and that verse. I even started writing it, but about 1/4 of the way through I deleted the whole thing, cracking up, thinking I sounded like I was... like... dude... totally stoned (I wasn't).... like... y'know... Genghis Khan looked at that moon, and Marie Curie, and... wow... which wasn't my intention at all.

  4. i think about death a lot, too, but as you said, "not in a morbid manner." i fear there's nowhere near enough time to do everything i want to do. Ofcourse, one lifetime could not contain all i want to do... When i have a lot of ideas brewing, there's always this urgency to get the art made, to record the idea and move to the next because the ideas will keep coming and someday there may be no time left to shape them.


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