Dear Death, your timing is lousy

Dear Death - image for article by Greg Alder

Dear Death, it’s time we talked. You’ve taken 3 people from me these past two months and I’m not happy.

I know your response.

I come for everyone, eventually.

Enough! I’ve heard it a hundred times. Just keep quiet for a moment and let me say what I have to say.

OK, so last night you took my uncle. He was in his eighties. You’d say his time had come. Nobody’s time just comes. It’s your decision. You call the shots. He might have been in his eighties, but did you stop to think that he still might have unfinished business? Dreams still to fulfill? You think there’s an age limit to dreaming?

What about Brian two weeks back? If not for you, he’d be in a resort right now. A holiday he’d planned with Kathy a few months ago. Did you think about that when you decided to take him?

And then our mate Michael. For god’s sake, he was 58! He was in the surf with his 15-year-old son, Nash, Just like that, you struck him down. Did you pause to consider what plans he might have had for the future? What surfing trips he imagined he and Nash might go on? Did you know he was planning to move his family to the Sunshine Coast, for a better life?

Come to think of it, it’s not just these three deaths. It’s all of them.

Our neighbor Tom last year. He might have said he was ready to meet his maker, but that was only because he’d endured so much prolonged pain. You think you’re the solution to everything, don’t you? Did you stop to think that all Tom wanted was for his pain to stop? That’s all.

And what about Jenny? She fought you all the way. In remission seven times. Did you stop to think that she still had plans for herself? For her kids?

And Hayden. Yes, let’s talk about Hayden. Eleven. Just eleven. And yes, he did say, “I don’t want to grow up. I want to stay this age forever.” But, really? You think death was the answer? How many dreams did Hayden have? What might he have become?

Don’t shrug your shoulders and give me that pathetic “oh well” smile.

I don’t expect you to change your fickle ways. So, here’s what I am going to do. I’m going to tell every friend, every colleague, every stranger for that matter, to grab every moment. To do the things that will bring them happiness. To start ticking off those experiences on their bucket lists right now.

We make plans because they give us something to work for. We put in the hard work at our jobs to pay for the hobby that gives us pleasure. We save and save, getting closer to the time we can give up our jobs and focus on our passions. And then you come along and screw everything up.

Well, screw you. We have dreams and we’re not going to let you steal them from us. We’re going to go out there and bring our dreams to life. Now.

We’re going to make time for our photography, travel, archery, gardening, volunteering, art, bushwalking, woodworking, skydiving and cycling.

So, here’s the deal, death. I’m not going anywhere just yet. Same goes for my friends. Just leave us all alone.

You’re not welcome. At any age. From now on I am going to do as Mexicans do and laugh at you, taunt you, dare you to take anyone I care about – family, friends, colleagues and neighbours.

Death, I think you need to sit yourself down and have a good hard look at yourself. (I was going to say, have a good hard look into your soul, but I doubt you have one.)

Your attitude sucks.

And your timing is lousy.

Image credit:
La Calavera Catrina, José Guadalupe Posada

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