We never think about dying. We are living our days so busy about doing things – whose utility I would love to talk about for hours – and we think this is how will always be.
Everything goes for granted. Health, wealth, house, job, whatever.
But we are not cars, we are not furniture, we are anything permanent. We may die even tomorrow. Our breath gets in now and will never exhale out again.
I am pretty sure that each of us had the chance to experience someone else’s death. I can name my mother. I think about her everyday but I don’t think I ever reflected on the Did she die regretting something? thing. She seemed to die peacefully, accepting her fate when her last day arrived. She fought as a lion till she could but with no complaints, no drama. I remember her smiling everyday, till the end. But I also remember a lot of sanctimony among the people who were getting into my house during those days.
You have to accept God’s will if you are a believer – they say.
To shut all the potential disagreement – I say.
But who knows how her heart was.
I do not want to leave you, your brother and your father. The only outburst she had in months, right the morning we left the hospital. Words which my mind captured by simply associating the sounds but my heart did not hear.
I spent those last four months emotionally unavailable. I couldn’t afford to speak out, to send awareness to my brain. I was too young and I loved her too much.
Now I wish I could come back to that moment, to hug her and tell her to open herself to me. In reality, I was thinking about bringing her home from the hospital, opting out the cemetery idea.
Some weeks ago I read an article about a nurse revealing the most common regrets her patients under palliative care had on their deathbed.
From this list, the things that hit me more are:
- Not pursuing our dreams
- Living a life according to someone else
As a result, during the last 24 hours I have been thinking about my greatest desire: being a nomad, travelling all around the world, leaving all my stuff behind and go with a backpack, looking for adventures.
No chains, no commitments, unless I feel to create them.
Society with its poison does not need to be much involved. I want just to leave and to live because this is how I feel right now. I will stop somewhere for as long as I please, work only if it’s necessary. I want to breathe freedom everyday not just inside but just outside.
I know I could leave everything even tomorrow but I feel my time hasn’t come yet. I want to enjoy this experience in the Netherlands for another couple of months and also I will start teaching English again starting from Friday as a volunteer, which is an excellent perspective as well. I want to help those women for real and I can see they need me and so do I.
The second regret makes me think about my dad and my brother. I can already see their faces, the day I will tell them I want to leave again. When my younger brother will be with his 30 years mortgage.
I can picture their reactions:
Think about when you will retire, you need to have securities ! (Dad, crying and if he’s in a good mood)
You scare the hell out of me ! (my brother, already said after the announcement of leaving Greece for the Netherlands as easy as if I was buying a pair of new shoes. Hold on, with shoes can be more difficult?)
You need to settle, you should allow yourself to fall in love and think that you can’t have kids when you are going to be 60! (Both, shouting in choir)
Well, sorry to disappoint. This is my life. I will procreate the day I will find some beauty I want to get into me, not to the one sleeping next to me because the biological clock is ticking. But I do think about that day because I see kids as the wisest people we should look at as an example. The fact that they are also always having fun, it is another important feature. Changing smelly napkins pay you back!
This is my biggest desire, experiencing the world. Seeing places, knowing people, talking to people, unfolding the images hidden behind their words. Listening to their pains, to their crazy stories, laughing with them, hugging them, making love, crazy love with them.
If I will be on the road again by next January (2017), by no means I think I could die with potentially no regret by the age of 35 .
Unless something else gets into the way – of course.
You can read the original nurse’s article which inspired me here.