Hope is important

 

I woke up at a funny time this morning – too late to go back to sleep and too early to get up. I decided that if I couldn’t sleep and I didn’t want to get up I might as well stay in bed and have myself a nice little rest.

Of course, it wasn’t long before my nice little rest turned into a bit of a think. I was thinking about wills: specifically whether I should revisit mine, and whether, if I did, I would be considered to have been of sound mind at the time of writing.

This got me thinking about my granny. She died when I was fifteen leaving behind only a few words dictated to my dad quite literally on her death bed. After her death these few words caused more arguments, and ill feeling and general nastiness than you can ever imagine*. It was my first insight into what a death can bring out in people. It wasn’t pretty.

The thing is, my granny died after a very long illness and for the last few months of her life, her diagnosis was terminal. I’ll never forget the conversation that I had with my dad as he tried to explain that there was nothing more that could be done – it felt like someone had taken my heart in their hands and wrung all the good things out of it.

We knew she was dying and she knew she was dying and it has bothered me for a long time that, under those circumstances, she didn’t have a will. She was an organised careful person and I just couldn’t understand why she hadn’t been organised and careful in that regard.

As I was thinking this morning it occurred to me that perhaps, even in the face of what she was told was certain death, she believed she was going to live. Maybe it was hope, or determination, or the survival instinct that kept her from writing a will. And that notion felt like it meant something to me.

Does that make sense?

I don’t want to be alive, but that really isn’t the same thing as wanting to die** and I often think about the survival instinct. My thinking goes something like this: If I found myself in a lift*** that was plummeting to the ground from twenty stories up, I imagine that for the whole of the descent I’d be thinking that something would happen that would make it okay. I don’t suppose it would occur to me that I was actually going to die until the very moment of impact (at which point it wouldn’t matter, because I’d be dead).  Human beings are going to die, but we also seem to be programmed to believe that we’re not going to die at any given moment. Again, that seems to mean something to me.

Why do I mention any of this? I’m not entirely sure, other than what it seems to say to me is something about hope. Hope is important.

Love from a hopeful WeeGee xx

PS – I read somewhere that if you find yourself in a plummeting lift your best bet is to lie on top of someone larger than yourself. It seems a bit mean, but I do find myself taking note of the physical stature of my companions when I get into lifts. Just in case, you know.

 

 

*Shortly before she became ill my granny had remarried, so we ended up with two feuding families. I hated it.

**You will either understand that or you won’t. I can’t put it any better than that

***Or an elevator if you are across the Pond

 

 

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19 comments

  1. Yay for hope!

    I also read if you find yourself in a plummeting elevator you should lay down on someone (for cushioning), or at least lay down – apparently dispersing the impact over your whole body is better than one place.

    Either way, glad you had a good think.

    1. …. So now I have a ‘keep myself alive in a plummeting lift’ plan. Now I need a ‘keep myself alive in a hurtling to earth plane and I’ll be fine 😉

      xx

  2. Reblogged this on Brandy Desiree Collins and commented:
    Is it hope that compels us to deny our mortality? Or is hope what allows us to embrace our mortality?

    For me, death has never been far from view. Almost every moment in my life has born a deep sense of awareness of how fortunate I am to have experienced it. As a child, I was accredited as having the unflattering mental plague of morbid fascination. To this day, I deny that with all of my being. I find nothing about dying fascinating; on the contrary I am attracted to the beautiful opportunity death presents for us: the chance to make each moment count.

    The first (and only) will I ever made was on a half-ripped sheet of spiral notebook paper from my sacred diary, at the ripe age of seven. It said simply: “When I die, please make sure my sister gets all of my teddy bears, and convince my aunt to sing at the funeral. Thank you.” Not much of a will, really. But the fact that I had the foresight to write my desires upon some unexpected ending to my short-lived life remains quite the interesting notion.

    I think we hope for immortality because we cannot bring ourselves to comprehend its impossibility. But to me, hope is a love for what we know to be true, and a belief that it will matter even after we are gone.

    I love this WeeGee McScott.

  3. “it felt like someone had taken my heart in their hands and wrung all the good things out of it.”

    Yes. My grandma died when I was thirteen, and I felt very much the same way. I remembered thinking, before she died (she was sick too) that if she ever died, that I’d want to die right along with her. When she did end up dying, I actually think a part of me died as well.

    “I don’t want to be alive, but that really isn’t the same thing as wanting to die.”

    Yes, I have felt this way many times. xx

    “Why do I mention any of this? I’m not entirely sure, other than what it seems to say to me is something about hope. Hope is important.”

    Agreed. Hope *is* important. And keeping your chin up goes along with that doesn’t it 😉

    Hugs xxx
    -Brandic

    1. I completely agree – when my granny died it was like I lost a little bit of myself and it never came back. She was very important to me in my early years and even now, 18 years later I find myself wishing she was here….

      Hope is the most important thing of all, and keeping your chin up is a big part of that. I hope yours is skywards lovely xx

  4. Good post WeeGee. I have spent a great deal of time thinking about the idea that we a programed not to think we are going to die in any given moment. If we dont believe that we will be overcome with fear, dread, and anxiety. I sometimes think my programming in that regard has failed as I am often afraid I am going to die at any moment.

  5. “I don’t want to be alive but that isn’t the same as wanting to die”…. I used to think it was about not really having the energy to do either – live or die. But I think when it comes down to it it is as you say: as humans we have a survival instinct. We want to survive. Even when there is a zombie apocalypse we will do everything in our power to stay alive. I am grateful for this because I have known a lot of suicidal people; actively suicidal people and I think it is this hope/survival instinct that keeps them here at the end of the day. p.s. I didn’t eat my chocolate cheerios — hope you did better than me xox

    1. …. I had a feeling you wouldn’t manage the chocolate cheerios – I don’t know why!!

      I agree that this is something to be grateful for. We all need something to hold on to xx

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