This last month one of my cats died. The one we’d had the longest, I think. It took a few weeks. That got me thinking about that stuff. Jeffrey hung on, going outside every day, even though it was fairly cold, eating a tiny bit. I thought about letting him out. What if he didn’t come back? Well, there are worse ways to go than hypothermia. Was the decision for me or for him? When we give people – or other critters – choices, we have to be willing to accept the consequences. I could have forced him to stay in, but what quality of life would that be for him? 

So I thought about the people close to me who have died. My Dad died alone in ICU. I didn’t get that he was dying. After all, they “were doing all they could for him” and it was a good hospital. That meant he was getting better, right? Not. “Doing all they can” means there really isn’t any hope.

My father-in-law went through the whole cancer regimen, even though there was almost no hope. He died at home on hospice care and I was with him.

My mother-in-law suddenly developed a high fever and, while she didn’t have COVID, apparently did have widely metastasized cancer. We got her out of the hospital and into a hospice unit where she died surrounded by loved ones.

My Mom, ever considerate, went to a chocolate festival with me on her birthday, then out to dinner, then just died in her sleep at my home in Tucson with the windows open and the birds singing. Way to go Mom!!!

I’d like to go like my Mom, but that’s not my decision. 

So, on this happy subject, thinking about my own death – I don’t think death is the bad part, it’s usually the dying. That can be miserable. But then, it can be a blessing. A woman on hospice care that I talked with told me what a blessing it was that she had plenty of time to pray for loved ones. 

When I get to heaven, I expect to be able to travel anywhere I want without going through airport security and sitting on a cramped plane. I expect to be able to eat whatever I want without feeling exhausted or itchy or crampy. I expect to be able to garden with no horn worms or aphids or squash beetles. No violence. No meanness. No pain. All my loved ones, including my many pets.

So, since all that’s coming, all that’s on my bucket list is cleaning up my mess, putting things in order, and continuing to make a difference. So much to look forward to!