Often times we hear about or talk about a “bucket list”…the things we want to do before we die…the countries we want to visit, the adventures we want to experience, and the people we want to see. When we make our bucket lists, we assume that we’ll be given enough warning to carry them out; that our bodies will be strong enough to pursue our last adventures, and that way we can push the thought of dying as far in to the future as we can.
I read an interesting article from a hospice worker and this is what he said: “by the time I get to meet people who are dying, they know that their days are few. Their prognosis has curtailed the future they’ve imagined and stripped away all but what is most essential. My patients fear dying alone or in pain and they want me to see them as they see themselves – as people who have had careers and families and rich experiences – and not as a fading patient in a bed. The truth about last requests is that by the time patients have accepted that their lives are ending, the wishes they have are often much simpler than a safari in Africa or a ride in a hot-air balloon.
I’ve never given much attention to my bucket list, probably for the reason that I mentioned in the first paragraph…because I still think that I’ll have enough warning and that I’ll be strong enough to do what I want to do. If I had to think about the things that would be on my “bucket list” though, I would want to experience again some of the things that made me happy in my life…the sight and smell of a scotch pine Christmas tree adorned with silver tinsel and coloured lights, to hold a newborn baby, to walk along the beach while the waves gently roll to the shore and to spend time with my family. I’d like to drive a tractor again with a set of discs and work the land, maybe sit in a hay loft and ponder the meaning of life or run through a corn field (lots of crazy things happen in cornfields and probably should stay in the cornfields)…simple things that made me happy.
And so then the next thing to ask myself is…if those are the things that make me happy, why am I waiting???
Until next week,