I might have mentioned this before, but I work in the media. That means I’m inherently a dark, morbid person.. and also a bit of a narcissist. I often wonder what people will say about me in my obituary. I often wonder if my loved ones would submit to tearful television interviews, or hide from the cameras, in the event of my sudden and untimely death.
Today I was thinking about cancer. I think it’s because of that crass “I like it” breast cancer awareness meme on Facebook, and some conversations I was having with friends about how stupid it is. Also I’ve been reading Her Fearful Symmetry and it’s pretty dark.
Anyway, I started to wonder whether I would tell him if I were stricken with a terrible deadly illness and only had months to live.
There’s no question he’d want to know. And I have no doubt he’d pull it together and rush to my deathbed, trying helplessly to help. I bet he’d get tearful and morose, and would be at a loss of what to do. I bet he’d be kind of annoying to have around in my final hours.
Part of me wondered whether I’d shut him out and keep my imminent passing from him… as punishment. Then! Surprise! He finds out I’m dead and he’ll never see me again. He’ll be overcome with regret and sorrow for the rest of his life.
I’d like to think I’d put that pettiness aside in those grave circumstances, and show great magnanimity as my life neared its end. We’d have warm, intimate heart-to-hearts as I grew weaker and weaker. I’d leave him, and this world, with a sense of bittersweet closure.
But I’m not sure I’d be that gracious.
(In reality, just so you know, I’m going to live to be the grumpiest and most hilarious centenarian you’ve ever met. I have no doubt that I am long for this world.)