Not ready to leave just yet

“I was terrified that my outcome would be written in stone if I acknowledged the fact that I came from people that couldn’t manage to stay on the planet. That’s what my lineage was.” – Polly Parsons daughter of the late singer, songwriter Gram Parsons

Staying alive really doesn’t seem that burdensome to me. I struggle with my weight, maybe I have a few to many glasses of Merlot from time to time. I am not nearly as social as I once was ten years ago, but wanting to live, wanting to breathe, wanting to see another sunset or sunrise isn’t an issue. At least right now it isn’t.

I think about dying all the time. Now let me qualify that, I don’t think about wanting to die, or how it might happen, just that I am going to die. Every life has an end date or as R. D. Laing so eloquently put it “Life is a sexually transmitted disease and the mortality rate is one hundred percent.”

Now death isn’t a topic of conversation that many people are comfortable discussing. I have friends in the funeral business and I am amazed out how they can keep it together talking with families. I couldn’t. Death is the subject, and death is their business and they are very good at their business and have made a lot of money. Sure, making arrangements for your 87-year-old Dad is certainly very sad but compare that to planning the funeral for your sixteen year old daughter. That, my friends, would be a very different kind of grief. If you have lived through that please know that I am very, very sorry.

I am still haunted by the suicide of a friend mine four years ago, a man who seemingly held the world in the palm of his hands. But he had a severe illness, depression, and sadly he decided to make it a terminal condition when it didn’t need to be. I wish I could ask him just one question, what in his mind made death so much more attractive than life? Why would he leave the perfect family, a dream job, at the top of his field, a community that not only respected him but revered him. Why?

Yes, I think about death but I spend much more of my day thinking about living, staying on this planet. I love hugging my wife and kids and hearing them laugh. I love seeing baby goats play in the fields and watching my dogs fight over milk bones. I love hearing my mother’s voice and eating her dressing on Thanksgiving. I don’t know what’s on the other side. I am sure some of you think you know but honestly you don’t really. I like it here, I wish my friend could have found a way to have liked it too.

So live, breathe deeply. Smell the logs burning on a crisp Fall day, listen to Etta James sing “At Last”, watch the moon rise over the clouds, taste a warm butter biscuit with blackberry preserves, hold the hand of someone you love, and help a friend find the joy in living. Life is a terminal condition. It doesn’t need our help to advance its completion.

“Life is a journey that must be traveled no matter how bad the roads and accommodations.” –  Oliver Goldsmith

About ends and beginnings blog

I am a frustrated writer and poet waiting to be discovered. A stand-up philosopher performing on a street corner near you. A Christian with questions but I don’t want to hear your answers. A Buddhist with a bumper sticker on my truck to prove it. A collector of quotes. A grower of lettuce. The Patron Saint of earthworms who name their children after me. A cyclist whose big ass strains the seams of his Lycra bibs. I am American by birth, Southern by the grace of God. My goal in life is to leave an imprint on the lives of the people I love not a footprint on the earth. I am a son, a husband, a father composed of 65%-Oxygen, 18%-Carbon, 10%-Hydrogen, 3%-Nitrogen, 3%-Diet Coke and 1%-Oreo.
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16 Responses to Not ready to leave just yet

  1. Free Soul says:

    Beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nan says:

    Well … yes.

    Not a very pleasant topic for discussion.

    Inevitable? Certainly, albeit not something most of us care to think about.

    I do agree with your last paragraph. Live while you can and enjoy all that “life” has to offer.

    P.S. Do you have a book on quotes? You really share some good ones!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I collect quotes Nan. I find them as I read and add them to my 20 page list of quotes I keep. I email my children a quote every Monday morning, however many Mondays there are times 9 or so years, they have a collection too, if they have saved them.

      I use quotes as writing prompts as well. I stumbled on Polly Parsons line in an interview she gave several years ago and then, 400 words later and I have a new post. As always, thanks for reading.


  3. angyjenks says:

    Life gets hard sometimes.. I wish your friend would have stayed to.. may God bless you and happy holidays..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. samdfb1 says:

    Fantastic post. Also the quotes you use in all of your posts are pretty ‘spot on.’ Thanks for that!

    Liked by 1 person

    • In most cases I write my post around the quotes, they stir the pot in my brain if you will. As always, thank you for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

      • samdfb1 says:

        Yup, I can tell. The quotes are usually pretty deep-but are used as a guide to navigate through your posts (that’s how I use them). Welcome!

        Liked by 1 person

        • I love finding that random sentence here or there as I read or research. That’s why my books are filled with highlights and I can’t trade them in at the bookstore, and why my wife stays mad at me about “all your books” stacked in every nook and cranny of our house. Working on turning two old doors into a new book shelf the question is where will “she” let me put it in “her” house 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • samdfb1 says:

            Cheah! Funny. Same here-I can’t trade my books in either-but am happy to go hunting for books at charity shops/used book stores. Got one yesterday for 50pence. Happy days! 2 old doors into a new book shelf? Great idea…sounds like it could be a DIY YouTube video too. Am sure your wife will allocate you a small corner of the house for your new book shelf…well, hope so anyway! 😉

            Liked by 1 person

  5. Once again, thank you for so eloquently putting what’s running through my head, into a post. When I think of dying, I get the oddest sensation…I’ve not been able to describe it. But I will take your advice, I will do my best to live while I am still able…the rest will have to take care of itself.

    Liked by 1 person

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