Lately Lake has been full of musings and concerns over his own mortality. I was moved to inquire where it was coming from when he confessed to finding “the dying days” scary. I’m not strong at screening what he watches, especially if I’m trying to watch something on the downlow and he pops over for a sticky beak. Luckily I don’t watch much in the way of films. But it turned out I was watching a Dollywood Heartstrings Nextflix original “If I Had Wings” where the older man (after first reconnecting with his long-estranged children) fell down the stairs and had a stroke or had a stroke and fell -down the stairs- and ended up in the ICU on life support. There was a long scene with each of his loved ones at his bedside saying goodbye. The tubes And the machines of the life support system added to the drama of the passing.
Now Lake is popping up frequently with “I have more days than Daddy before the dying part. I don’t want to have any more birthdays. Every day is closer to the dying days.”
What ensues here is my best recollection of our conversation. I find real conversation like this with my nearly four year old so dear.
Yes, in essence every day we are alive is closer to the dying day, Lake. That’s why we life life fully—each moment with presence, integrity, vitality, kindness and purpose. We never know when that day will be. You’re right that it’s more likely that you have more days than Daddy, but it’s not a guarantee. And as we get older our maximum days left alive is ever decreasing, and we still may end up living longer than a younger person. We have no guarantees.
“I’m scared of the dying part.”
You know some people find peace with the comfort of dying since our bodies wear out and aren’t built to last forever. Aside from that and in spite of it, some people find getting older to be a rich and rewarding experience. Especially when living a life well lived… With age there’s so much more to bring perspective into each moment.
Other times he sings Hakuna Matata.