I’ve been a little emotionally shut off of late, but upon my trip home to visit my grandparents yesterday, I felt the first tugs at the walls of non-feeling. My grandfather is not very well at the moment, and my grandma is getting that way too though she’s mostly ok. They’ve both cleared 80 so had a good run, as they say, but both have opposite attitudes to their end. My grandfather, who is currently in constant pain, doesn’t want to go. My grandma seems to be done with life, almost perversely so. She’s pretty relaxed about it (“when God calls me, he calls me”). My grandfather desperately hopes for a few more years, preferably in better health.
Something in this juxtaposition really got me and I felt absolute misery. I suppose it was the dawning that these two people who brought me up probably have around five years left, at the very most, and their days of self-sufficency will be over long before that. They both want to see a great-grandkid before they die, something no one in their respective families has ever seen. Indians had kids young, but they also died young. I said I’d give it a go but to not hold out hope. On the train back to Waterloo, I decided that I’m glad I lived long enough to come to terms with the fact that I will die, though I’m sure I will come to re-examine that apparently certainty as the years pass.
I’m still not sure what a good death looks like. The closet I can think of is one where say, after the age of fifty, an assassin is automatically activated and at some point between now and the next forty years they will put a bullet in your head and kill you instantly. Clean and painless; One minute you’ll exist and then you won’t and you’ll never know when then switch’ll happen. If you have a preferable ideal death, let me know.
Think this will all feed into my project with Christoph which, for the purposes of labelling, I will give the working title of Grand Romance.