Jill Davies

On Mortality

Our temporariness is such a short time.

I strive to do my best.

I strive to accept my best is ‘good enough’.

I fear deterioration in mental and physical capacity. To me, those capacities enable me to contribute my best to life on earth.

On the other hand, I accept an end to living. Life on earth thrives from cycles of ideas, inputs, happenings – beginnings and endings and lives in between.

I accept my influence is in the now. We are finite beings.

We need to prepare ourselves: to learn to step aside; to pass on to others; to pass on the baton!

The pandemic has emphasised our vulnerability and our mortality. I have talked more about death – the end – during this unusual time. The end is non-negotiable. It is harder to talk about getting there. This path is more ‘messy’, more unpredictable.

My uncle whom I did not know well died recently at the age of 94 years. I knew him from afar as he emigrated to Canada with my aunt in 1955. From when I was a child, I thought of him as an adventurer and courageous. He broke the mould and broke the rules of the time! He grasped life and opportunities. He was a thinker and wise counsel, a considerate, kind man. His family was very precious to him. His aspirations for his children, with his help to prepare and support them in their lives, was for them to be kind to each other and to others. He and my aunt also discussed the end of life and made plans, and fulfilled them courageously.

Thinking about his life and his achievements has focused my thoughts on my life and my end. Yes, we must all talk more.