“I will be a wave breaking at the shore alongside thousands of waves.”
My husband would say at night during his terminal cancer diagnosis when the thoughts of dying would forcefully climb into his human mind and remind him of his mortality.
And I would refuse to be in his mortality.
I refused to believe that he would die.
My refusal did not bring him hope but an aloneness of his own journey.
“I don’t want you to be a cheerleader.” he would say.
“I just want you to see that I am actually dying.”
And he was.
And he did.
He really did. He died forever. And ever.
But I didn’t want to see his death approaching.
We as humans make our mortality so unreal that when we get close to our own death or to the death of someone we love we remove it from the equation.
We remove it with conviction.
And when death eventually happens… grief pounds on us violently afterwards.
We end up suffering so much more than we have to.
Death is unstoppable.
It is unstoppable not because it has force but because it is so natural.
Consciously knowing that, could make our suffering less.
Knowing that death could be at my doorstep inspires me.
Every word I want to say to you I say it.
Because this could be the last time I write.
This could be the last time you read it.
And no this to me is not depressing, but inspiring.
This to me is my greatest power. The power that comes from my own mortality.
It makes every step I take the right one.
It forces me to love life more.
It begs me to breathe more air.
It gives my whole body purpose.
Being human is like a wave breaking at the shore, it only lasts for a brief moment.
This letter is not about dying, it is about deeply knowing that you are not here to stay.
You are here to journey.
I hope if nothing else your own mortality inspires you, just like it inspires me to speak to you from the place where everything does end.
And if I could go back to the day ten years ago when my husband was trying to convince me that he was a wave, I would tell him that his wave was a beautiful one and the meeting of the shore would light up the sky.
So please light up your own sky as you are journeying through your life.
With light and impermanence,