Do you hear the tick, tick, tick of the death clock?
What’s the death clock you ask?
The death clock, is a website that calculates (with a little information you add in) the exact day you will die.
Sounds morbid, right?
I agree, but take this as a bit of fun and not too serious.
Playing with death–trying it on for size is one way humans deal with the tragedies of life–kind of like playing dress up with your mother’s high heels and your dad’s jacket.
So, I went to www.deathclock.com, (there’s also a few others– http://www.findyourfate.com/deathmeter/deathmtr.html, http://deathdate.info, http://www.death-clock.org/) and put in my numbers.
I didn’t really want to know when I’d die. But I have to admit, I was curious.
How can you not be curious?
I was raised in a uber-religious home and this sounded like fortune telling–something stricly forbidden to dabble in–which means it’s even more tempting, dangerous, and oh so fascinating…(yeah, I’ve got a bit of a rebellious streak in me, I can’t deny it).
So I typed in my info, and you know what? I feel better!
It says I’m going to live until I’m 100 years old.
Instead of feeling depressed about knowing my “D day,” I felt expanded.
100 feels pretty far away. I’m not quite half there. I still have a a whole lotta livin’ to do.
I do take in account I could get hit by the proverbial bus at any time–that lightening could strike me for visiting that heathen site, (sorry, Mama!) or a myriad of other diseases and accidents could come barrel my way–but I’m not the type of person to be paralyzed by the “what ifs” of life.
My dad died of heart disease at 78, and my mother lived with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s and died at the age of 92 (they were my adoptive parents and older than most parents). I was her primary caregiver and she lived with my family and I the last three years of her life.
I wrote every day my mother lived with us.
I wrote what it’s like for her to live with this disease, what it was like for me, her daughter to struggle with the challenges of being a sandwich generation-er. I wrote about our fears, our fights, our hurts, our day-to-day challenges, and the truth about the guilt and resentment caregivers and families are afraid to say out loud.
Our story became a book, Mothering Mother and has been read by thousands.
The fact is, if you live long enough, you stand a real strong chance of getting Alzheimer’s.
Deal with it. Sounds cold, but what I mean is…do what you can now to take care of yourself.
Eat healthy, have a good attitude, walk every day. Forgive.
Those are the best ways I know of to stave off that dreaded disease.
And even if you get a diagnosis, don’t just crawl up and die. You still have time–love your family–leave a legacy. Don’t spend your precious time worrying.
I don’t know if you want to try the death clock–if it all seems like a bunch of hoo-haa.–but if you’re feeling brave, then take a twirl with the grim reaper and give it a try.
A few years ago, I wrote a “100 Things To Do in My Life” List.
I wrote it while we were on vacation. I wrote it around the margins of an old Rand McNally atlas we had in the car–apprapo, I guess.
I wrote things like:
- Go back to college and get my BFA
- Design and make a bronze sculpture
- Visit the Vincent Van Gogh Gallery in Amsterdam
- Publish books (plural)
- Take a cooking class in Napa
- Repaint all my favorite Van Goghs myself
- Create cool yard art–and sell it
- Be paid 500 bucks an hour to speak and inspire people
- Be on the board of a charity/organization and help make a difference
- Design an Italian garden
- Have a 30+year writing career
- Be a GREAT grandma
- Speak French, Italian and Spanish fluently
- Live in the South of France for several months
- Win a PEN award
- Stay married, stay healthy
- Forgive and not grow bitter
I wrote this in 1999. I was dreaming big,. I packed it away and didn’t look at it for more than five years. My heart and my words guided me intuitively.
There are 126 items on my master list.
Of the 16 I listed here, 11 have already come to fruition.
I have 53 years to achieve the rest.
A friend of mine said she saw The Bucket List this week and that she loved it, but a friend of hers said they wanted a list of all the things they didn’t want to do–a “Chuck It” list. I like that idea too.
Or you could do an “anti-list.”
Remember that edisode on Grey’s Anatomy when that guy found out he was dying and decided to video-taped himself chewing out all the people he hated/who had hurt and humiliated him? This is what he chose to do before he died.
How cleansing! To leave this world feeling like you said your peace. Perhaps is he had done this sooner, he wouldn’t be dying.
What would be on your anti-list?
I’d love to never ever have another root canal…how about you?
So maybe I should rename the Death Clock to the LIVE clock.
After all, I have a list that needs a whole lot more check marks. Instead of counting down the days until I die, I should count each day I’m living.
Instead of following the old cliche, “Live a little.” I think I’ll rewrite it:
“Live A lot!”
Kunati books, www.kunati.com/motheringmother
Family advisor at www.Caring.com
Syndicated blog at www.OpentoHope.com