Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Meditation on Death

One of those "Stop and Think" moments yesterday. A rather distant business associate of The Ravishing Mrs. TB passed away yesterday. She die from Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, the brain wasting disease similar to that of BSE. She was diagnosed 36 days prior.

She was 43 years old.

It's one of those things that stops and grabs your attention at work, and then for the rest of the day. 43. That's darn near my age. And then you get to thinking about the totality of it.

43 is considered dead center in a lifespan in the US these days. This is the age where you're supposed to be in your prime earning years (per the actuary tables), planning for the remainder of your life, preparing your children for their own lives even as you are starting to find the balance (hopefully) of them taking less of your immediate time. Life's horizons for the next stage are starting to dawn; you may be able to see the fruit of the last 20 years of your life from college beginning to blossom.

Or not.

It gave me pause as I sat there, surrounded by paperwork of questionable value, demands from others about how I should fill my day, and crises which are only crises to a small percentage of people even at my own company. If I was notified today I had 36 days to live - and all of those good days, not the days typical of an degenerative disease which hardly present one with the faculties one has at full health - would I be ready? Would I look back on my life and say it was well spent and well invested, not in the material but in the relationships with family and friends and my service to God? Do I truly involve God in all my plans - not only the big ones, but the day to day ones - to insure that to the greatest extent possible I am living as I should? Am I spending my time energy on things that matter, or do I squander them on things of little import thinking that I will have time in the future to do the important things, time that is never vouchsafed me in fact?

And if any of this is true, what will I do about it?

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