I don’t mean to usher you down into this particular rabbit hole with me – I see my role as more of an inspirer than a depressive type – but it has occurred to me that if you die young, then you don’t have to go through watching other people die.
And watching other people die turns out to be … just not at all fun.
So why am I working so hard to remain healthy?
You don’t have to answer. I know. It’s because sometimes deaths are drawn-out and painful. We’re not all guaranteed a super-fast, fully-fatal heart attack like my husband, about two years ago. (It wasn’t his fault that the EMTs revived him so his entire family could gather around his hospital bed for a 24-hour deathbed scene while his body caught up to his brain, which was already gone.)
We’re not all guaranteed a six-week precipitous decline into COPD and dementia before a very sudden and entirely tidy death like my mother, about two months ago.
And so far, the nation doesn’t allow euthanasia, as applied to my dog about three days ago. I took him to the vet because he had a little cough; the chest x-ray revealed very advanced cancer. The vet gave him a few weeks to live, and without seeing him again I gave the order to have him put to sleep. I simply couldn’t face watching him die, too.
So I’m feeling quite shattered. Alone. Terrified that my son or my cat will suddenly go toe-up on me (and if sacrificing my cat would save my son, hand me that bloody Aztec sacrificial dagger, would you?). I really don’t know if I can handle more death right now and still maintain my sanity.
And tomorrow I’m supposed to go running with Barbara. All I can think is – why? Why bother? If I just sit here very still and hold the cat and text the son, maybe I could just ossify and turn to stone and slowly drop out of life and not deal with this shit any more. I’m just so very tired.
I can’t believe I had to kill my dog. I’m becoming a country song.
I’ll be better soon – don’t actually worry about me. I’m a cork; I can rise from anything. At least, I always have. And exercise creates endorphins. I’ll be better able to handle this after Barbara cajoles me into running. Assuming I can get out of bed tomorrow to get to the appointment.