Some of you know my story and know why I speak of the bittersweet ebb and flow of life. There is a mixture of pleasure and pain tinged with the excitement that comes from living fully immersed in the moment.
As I type my girlfriend continues her battle with cancer nearing the end of her pregnancy. She has just arrived at a hospital in Philadelphia after being care flighted in from Sinai. Her organs are in complete failure and there are three teams of specialists working out how to save the three of them.
We’ve lived in this state of flux for several weeks now. She has a strength rarely seen amongst our species and has kept her spirits high in spite of the drama. I was just informed of how awesome an experience the helicopter was. She even sprinkled in a comment that she should have been a flight nurse.
That sort of joy in the mix of so much uncertainty brought the Buddha’s words to mind almost instantly. Why should we waste time arguing and being bitter when we knew from the moment we were born that we are inching towards death?
People tend to see this sort of dialogue as nihilistic and cold but that couldn’t be further from the truth. We get no brownie points for putting ourselves in situations that cause suffering.
I’m not just talking about toxic relationships and the backlash of lifestyle decisions either. This woman had cancer when I met her. We both knew the risk of pregnancy and got into this with the full understanding that it could go south at any time. As a result we have had a simple pact to love each other through the bullshit.
Death comes for us all, thus is the nature of life. That doesn’t mean we should give up and be bitter. What it really means is we should live each moment as if it is precious and spread as much joy and happiness as we can to our fellows. In the immortalized words of the hip-hop duo ¡Mayday!:
“When it’s all said and done we ain’t here that long better get yo’ feet wet!”-Bernz (shortcuts and dead ends)