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Another Monday

And then there is another Monday, now back at home. The swimming pool is green, the vegetable garden is covered in weeds, and the desk has a layer of dust. I have two weeks’ worth of work to catch up with. And now an added responsibility of sorting out my Father’s affairs.

I sit at my desk. It is a mess, to say the least. Sanlam forms. I hate filling out forms. Why on earth do they never make the blocks big enough to actually t the writing?

And the amount of rubbish they ask for – what on earth does it matter? I realise that I am tired and irritated. The neighbour’s bloody leaf blower does not help… Limbo. “I feel that I am in limbo” l, I hear myself saying to friends who ask me how I am. I decided to Google what in limbo means:

Definition of in limbo.

1: in a forgotten or ignored place, state, or situation; orphaned children are left in limbo in foster homes and institutions. 2: in an uncertain or undecided state or condition.

Well, there you go. I am in limbo. I am not sure of my state or my condition. Not quite orphaned. Almost! And yes, an ignored place. Because most of us insist on ignoring death. As much as we are surrounded by it, we somehow choose to not engage with it. (As an aside, our Gardener was murdered on the same day that my Father transitioned. I have chosen to not engage with his death, simply because I have no space in my head for it. I will deal with it later. Like maybe tomorrow. At the same time, our Housekeeper has disappeared. I also cannot deal with that now. I will deal with it later, after dealing with the murder of our Gardener. Like the day after tomorrow, Wednesday. By then I hope to have more headspace.)

Not every death is a beautiful transition, I know. We do not always get the chance to process, grieve, say goodbye, to make peace. Some deaths are sudden and brutal. But if we are alive, which we all are, we all have the opportunity to contemplate our own mortality. Dif cult as it is, we can actually sit our asses down and think about the fact that we are definitely, absolutely going to die. For sure. For real. True story. Not fake news. You, yes you, are going to die. Face it. Talk about it.

Discuss it with your loved ones. Make a will. Do an advanced directive. DO IT!

A death like my Father’s is also a reminder to live properly. To take deep breaths (it was dreadful watching and hearing his breathing becoming more and more shallow.) To look around and see the beauty of the mountains and the ocean (his eyes never opened again after the stroke. I lifted his eyelids – his eyes were dull and lifeless). To talk to our loved ones (he did say a last “thank you” on the day after the stroke when I told him I would come back the following day).

The finality of death is perhaps what inhibits us the most. We cannot fathom that finality, we cannot comprehend its power. We object to our finiteness. We cannot and do not want to consider that this candle might be so brief. Perhaps this is my state of limbo, having to reconsider the way forward. Perhaps I need to rethink my Being here. Now that I have experienced death so real and so close, I should reconsider my own journey. But for now, I will be in limbo.

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