It’s not the dying

Dying isn’t that scary, it’s the being gone which really pisses you off.

I heard a woman being interviewed on the radio. She had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and knew she was dying. She was saying that she wasn’t scared of dying so much as scared of not being there; not being there for her child. After the interview had finished, we were told that the woman had died soon after the tape had been made.

At the time, I had just been diagnosed with liver cancer and been given a likely prognosis of one more year to live. I also was not scared of dying per se. I’d been fortunate to acquire some money (enough for a year) so I was thinking oh well at least I’ll have a bit of (bought) dignity. What did piss me off was an ego thing. Thinking back over my own life and remembering all the people I’d known who’d died (there were a lot). I realised that each one had, in some way, become a milestone in my own life and that I was about to become a milestone in someone else’s. I didn’t like that at all.

(Tim Shreeve)
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