12.14.2004

Death by ... old age

I wonder why I’m so fascinated with death. I try not to fear it because it is inevitable to all living things. But I do hope I will not have a painful one – something quick would be nice. That’s why I prefer death by gunshot than death by drowning. I don’t want to have time to think it over and suffer like Nick Joaquin’s Currito Lopez.

Anyway, a few years ago, a friend once claimed that the “good ones” always die first. JFK and Princess Diana comes to mind. Good - not meaning exceptional or successful. But Good - meaning good in heart and mind, don’t have too many enemies or have lived a life of sacrifice that death would have been the greatest reward to their hellish existence. I guess that’s the theory that inspired the expression: “Ang bait bait mo. Sana kunin ka na lang ni Lord.” (You are so good, I wish God will take you.”)

Which brings me to this assumption that I might self-destruct at age 38. It’s really more of fear … of old age. It’s easy to talk about death now maybe because I haven’t seen my grandchildren, much more my kids … and come to think of it … I haven’t even met the man I’m going to grow old with, or hold hands with while walking in some tree- decorated park. If I had, I might change my mind. You see, I haven’t met anyone who faced old age gracefully. My dad is 74 but he’s not old. Old would be those who need constant care. Those who need someone to bathe them or clean up their poop. Is this being disrespectful? But it is reality, isn’t it? If we are lucky, we will all come to that age. But I’d rather be spared from such humiliation. I don’t really want to die at age 38. I do want to see my kids and grandkids. I want to be able to argue with my husband and make-up with passionate meaningful sex – lol (I sometimes amaze myself at what I reveal here, tsk tsk tsk.) I want to be able to see the world, experience the colors of autumn and marvel at the wisdom of God by counting the white hairs on my head. I want to die knowing I’ve experienced those things – and on the age where I know I’ve been significant. I guess, in the end, if I’m lucky, I hope God takes me when I’m ready. And when I know he could say, “that'll do, pig, that'll do.”

No comments: