a matter of life or death
by, 12-Nov-2013 at 03:53 (891 Views)
We toss that phrase around all the time, don't we? I don't mean here necessarily, but, you know, everywhere.
"Is it a matter of life or death?" "I need to know! It's a matter of life or death!" "Well, it's not a matter of life or death, but..."
It's an easy phrase because we all understand its extremities: life, the one half of the equation, is the state of being alive, the only state we truly can ever comprehend, the one in which we spend our time thinking and considering and philosophizing and watching and listening and doing and being a part of everything around us; death, the second, unknown half of this seemingly balanced thought, is, by contrast, a virtual black hole: we know it not. We have religious or emotional or creative or otherwise interpretive notions of what it might be, but we do not--we cannot--know it. Not until we have experienced it, and then it is too late to discuss the matter.
A matter of life or death.
In my home, at this time, along with the clutter from all of the accumulated crap that builds up over time, along with the random devastation caused by having too many cats in too small a space, along with what passes for my world, there is, rapidly reaching a peak, a matter of life or death.
My son and his wife live here with us right now. He is 28 years old. His wife is 29. She will probably not see 30.
For three years she has been fighting cancer. She is losing. The cancer is simply too aggressive. Last week, they made the decision to stop fighting and begin hospice care, and now begins the end. No one knows how long this part will take. It's a matter of life or death. And when it is over, one--a pre-ordained choice--will have emerged victorious. The game is fixed, like professional wrestling. It is not fair. From the start, she had no real chance other than to prolong her life. That she did, but no more.
We think about matters here that are often fun, sometimes silly, sometimes humorous. And of course we also think about and write about important issues we each may be facing in our complex lives. Sometimes they feel as if they are matters of life or death.
Sometimes, perhaps, they are.