You can’t take it with you
That was the title of the program, on BBC2 I think. Or maybe BBC1. Well it was definately BBC. It’s about wills, and sorting out who’s going to get your money after you’ve kicked it. Of course it’s all crazy cases, people wanting to leave it to cats rather than people, choosing one child over another, whether to leave any to your estranged and lower class relatives etc etc etc.
Good show. But it doesn’t half make you think. Death is something you just never really think about much, unless it’s thrust in your face. All of us seem to think that we’re just going to go on ad infinitum, but of course we’re not. All of us has a demise waiting for us. Your partner, your sister, your brother, your baby niece or nephew. All of them are going to die. Maybe in a hundred years. Maybe in fifty. Maybe in one. We are all literally clinging to this life by a thread. I love the image of the moirae – the greek fates. Three of them, all tending to these threads which represented human lives. Clotho spun the thread, Lachesis measured it, and Atropos cut it with a pair of shears, deciding the persons time of death, and the manner of it. We get our word Atrophy from her. The wasting away of something. The end of something.
I don’t fear death per se. I fear pain, so I guess I fear the action of dying (depending on what it is – in your sleep, fine. Stabbed – not so fine.) But I don’t fear death as a concept. What I do fear though, more than the action of dying, more than anything, is that death will come upon me before I’ve achieved. Before I’ve lived. I have so much I want to do. I’ve barely begun really. And my obituary would make for thin reading if it were to be written now. I want my books published, i want lots of books published. I want to marry Andrew. I want to have a proper life in a proper house, with a garden, and a dog. I want to be able to do a weekly shop and not have to worry about whether I’m buying the value baked beans or the heinz beans. I want to confidently pick up a tin of heinz beans and put it in the trolley. I want to go to DFS and comet, where I want to get a new sofa and a big fridge/freezer, one with a little water dispenser on the front. I love those. And again, like the beans, I want to do that without any financial worry. I do want money. I don’t want to be stinking rich (won’t complain, but I don’t seek it urgently.) I just want to be comfortable. So that when the time comes for me to write my will, or appear on “You can’t take it with you,” if I’m crazy enough, I have something to leave behind.
Ahhh dear. I sound like a death obsessed person. I’m not. But it is on my mind. And I do fear it, in the way I’ve described. Live each day like it’s your last I suppose, or any one of the many “life is short,” style catch phrases. Yes, that’s all very well. But you can’t do everything you want to achieve in a lifetime. I can’t live a day like it’s my last to a satisfactory extent because I haven’t achieved enough yet. I’m not done yet.
But then I guess it’s not up to me. That’s for Atropos to decide.