We Who Are About To Die

If there is one thing I learned from having cancer, from being so close to losing my life, it is how fragile humans are. We are separated from our end by the infinitesimal space between one breath and the next. Our lives can be horribly altered or ended in the blink of an eye.

I think I have always had a good sense of this, and part of that came from X-men comics (no, really!) I’m just re-reading the “Storm gets a mohawk and becomes a wild child era” and have been struck again by how much wisdom there was in that book during the golden era. And one must take wisdom where one finds it. The life must be savoured because it is so precious is something I took from those colourful comic pages.

They taught me to be strong, to stand for what I believe, to love with all my heart. And, in the end, I survived.

But when I had cancer, I realized how few people see how close we all are to death, every minute of our lives. Have you ever seen the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers? Remember that scene where Kevin McCarthy is running along the highway, trying desperately to get someone to hear his warnings about the pods? I felt like that, still do sometimes. I wish I could take this knowledge and implant it into everyone’s brain, to make them see that because life is so tenuous, we must live and love with all what we have. We must take big bites, so deep that the juice runs down our chins and stains our clothes. We can do laundry later.

If I could, I would come to all of you and hold you tight, for as long as I could, to show you how glad I am that you come here to read my words, and that you share yours with me. I treasure you and if you were suddenly gone from my life, I would grieve, but I would rejoice in how lucky I was to have known you. In your darkest moment, remember that there is one soul out here in the dark who is your friend and you are never alone. If you get lost, look in my direction.

Know always that you have my love and respect.

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