Time is relative.
When you’re running late for work and every traffic light you come across is stuck on a red light, five minutes can seem like an eternity.
However, when your favourite band starts playing its signature song during the last five minutes of what had been a wonderful concert, 5 minutes feels like no time at all.
12 hours of the daily grind doing a job you hate can feel interminable.
However, the last 12 hours of the weekend, when you’re staring Monday in the face (and the beginning of another busy work week) never feels long enough.
A week’s vacation passes in the blink of an eye.
A week waiting to find out if a loved one will make it through multiple organ dysfunction feels like forever.
Waiting is agony. I’m not the most patient person to begin with. I’m a woman of action. I see a problem, I find a solution. Simple. If there’s something to fix, I would want a run through of all possible options for fixing it.
But there comes a point when you start to run out of options, and every action feels like you’re only prolonging the inevitable conclusion. Its a bitter pill to swallow, knowing that there are some things you just can’t fix.
During my more morbid moments, I often wonder whether its better to die suddenly, without any suffering whatsoever, or from a prolonged disease where you have to suffer constantly but you get the chance to say goodbye to everyone (and them to you).
If you ask me, I want neither option.
I would like to die from old age with a gin and tonic in my hand, surrounded by my family and all the boys I’ve loved who didn’t love me back and who have come to express their regrets on my deathbed, with Taylor Swift playing in the background.
I know the end will come for us all. This month has been difficult. Dealing with dad’s operation and my grandmother being very very ill has brought home just how fleeting life really is, and how few moments there are in between birth and dying. What is 50 or 60 odd years really, in the face of eternity? Its a single grain of sand in a massive desert.
But what a glorious grain it is, so much so that we cling to that single grain for as long as we can. We do all we can to survive, sometimes even beyond all reason. For those of us who work in one aspect of health care or the other, we choose to be aggressive with our treatments because its counterintuitive for us to let go when there are still things that can be done. Giving up goes against every training and every instinct we’ve developed as professionals.
Oh, but the waiting.
Sometimes I imagine I can literally hear the tick tick ticking of time passing and it freaks me out. There is so much I want to do and I’m well aware that I might not be able to do all of them. To me, time is a gift, and we often take it for granted up until the moment we run out of it.
I would want to give those I love the gift of time if I could.
But time is relative. And maybe waiting is relative too. When you’re only waiting for the end, the end could not come soon enough.
There’s a certain sense of relief that comes with knowing that all things will end, one way or the other. Mostly because it means an end to all the waiting, but also because an ending means that a new beginning could and will follow.
It means knowing, one way or the other, what comes after the end.
However which way you want to think about it though, the waiting is and always will be the hardest part.
You’re stationary, stuck in limbo, unable to process your emotions because you don’t know whether you should dare to hope or start to grieve.
You carry out your plans, knowing full well you’re running out of options, running out of time, but no one wants to be the first to say it, to say the truth that’s staring everyone in the face.
No one want to say that this could be it. That we should start saying our goodbyes, something made all the more painful because this stupid pandemic will not allow for even the slightest opportunity to mourn.
The waiting leads to thoughts like these, to blog posts that ramble and make no sense because when you’re only waiting, nothing makes sense.
Sigh. I will not be held responsible for the gibberish I will continue to write in the future. I blame the waiting.