Death

OK.

This might not be the best title for Boxing Day.

I can’t get away from it however;

Perhaps

The writing will help me move-on.

 

Last night I watched a programme about Tommy Cooper.

 

Fez

Silly jokes

&

just like that

 

He was present through my childhood.

 

His final day

Summed-up by an appearance on TV

Sunday, 15th April 1985.

 

I am not sure whether I can remember

The event

Or the news coverage afterwards.

 

Whatever,

The moment has remained.

 

Sudden,

Unexpected,

Unanticipated

Termination of existence.

 

And this to me is the pain.

 

I was talking with a colleague, a couple of months ago, about death –

(this a topic central to the lives of physicians),

She said that her preferred exit would be sudden,

Here one moment,

Gone the next.

 

Just like that.

 

For me, this is worst form of departure.

 

Sure, dying, particularly if you are young is never fun,

And,

Especially, if pain or fear are associated.

 

At least,

When the event is pro-trac-ted, you can sort things out;

Have an opportunity to

Kiss your children one last time,

Say, sorry

To those you have wronged.

 

Tidy-up any messes.

 

A famous Samurai Legend describes the

Reason for barracks being so neat

Is that,

If you die on the battle-field,

No one will have to clean-up after you.

 

An anticipated death allows for this,

Suddenness not.

 

I think of

John Peel,

Somewhere in Peru,

Or,

Harry Dawn,

Or,

My dad for that matter,

Although he sensed something wasn’t right,

His departing words,

look after mum.

 

After the Cooper programme

I watched

The Making of Bohemian Rhapsody

And,

Freddie’s old ma

Describing her joy

At purchasing a copy of the single

At the time of its release.

 

He went gradually,

He faded away

As is

The lot of most.

 

The average age of a person

When their parents

die

In the UK

Is 50

Or so.

 

I am reading The Haunting of Hill House;

One of the characters,

Eleanor

Lives through the deterioration and death

Of her mother,

Providing the care

That allows for her own opportunities to fade.

 

This a quid pro quo

For

The premature loss of loved ones.

 

When I was 19,

I remember a fellow student

And his sister

Both of whose parent’s had died

too young.

 

I sometimes think of them;

 

How do you experience the maturity of your own children,

When your parents are not there to guide you?

 

Sudden death,

Gradual dissipation,

Neither ideal

During the festivities

Of an economy reckoning with recession;

 

It doesn’t encourage you to spend

Other than

On

Mahogany

Or wicker.

 

In Mo Gawdat’s

Book

Prove for Happy

He expresses his belief

That we, our spirits, souls, essences are eternal,

They have always been

And will always be.

 

Sure, our bodies

Run-out of steam

Give-up the ghost, as it were,

But the what

Continues.

 

And,

Unravelling all of this

And,

Not to end on too sad a note,

Is the reflection

That those who once were

Are still here,

And,

Whether we go in a flash

Or

An ebbing,

Nothing changes.

tommy.jpg

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