Someone told me once that we live in grey but our ideas are usually black and white. I find that statement interesting. Facing my death is changing the way I look at my life. My ideas are no longer black and white. I’m moving into the world of the unknown. Its like standing on a cliff and looking out towards the vast horizon and not knowing what lies beneath. Despite not knowing, I still believe that something exists .
Lately I’ve been trying to get a hold of what it means to die. How can I accept the unknown?How can I face my death empowered with grace and love? In the metastatic cancer community we spend lots of time talking about patients having a good quality of life. This discussion needs to extend into the realm of death.
We shouldn’t be afraid to talk about what a good quality of death is while balancing a good quality of life. I believe a good quality of life relates more to the application of medical intervention or lack of medical intervention. For me, a good quality of death relates to the amount of grace and love that surrounds me. I am hopeful, it will fuel empowerment and strength as I face my death. I want to find grace and love in myself and the people sharing this journey with me.
Another key element of feeling empowered is centered around remaining an active member in my medical team. Knowing that as long as I’m capable, I will be able to make decisions about my care. Knowing that my care will be conducted with dignity. To be treated as a human being rather than just a patient. Most importantly I want to be without pain.
I want to be able to die surrounded by the intimacy that comes from loved ones. I want to know that my supporters are being supported. I want my life to have a legacy for my children, family, and friends. I want my life story to reflect what made me, me. I want my children to know that I am loved and have loved.
For me the unknown has an infinite feeling without answers. How do I find acceptance in the potentially short time I have? How do I find the grace to accept that my life will be left incomplete? How will I find that grace in a holistic way? How will I ever be able to step off that cliff knowing that I am leaving my family and loved ones? It all feels grey. I am left with more questions than answers right now.