Ella: “I don’t want you to die.”
Me: “Why do you say that?”
Ella: “Because you’re going to die soon.”
Insert chills here.
I know it’s probably just kids being kids and all that, but for some reason, my four-year-old daughter speaking those words has really rattled me. Well…not ‘for some reason’ but ‘for some very specific reasons’! Okay, okay, I usually try and steer clear of the personal stuff on this blog, but…what the heck? If I am going out soon, then I’m not taking the personal stuff with me!!!
Firstly, dying young has always been something I have not only been worried about, but have in a sense, been convinced would happen to me. Namely cos my own mother died when she was 33 (I was 5 and my sister 2) and so…put two and two together and all that. Not really rational, but a lifelong paranoia nonetheless.
Secondly, I’m now 27. It has always freaked me out that a lot of people seem to die at 27. I spose a lot of people die at any given age, but 27 has definitely attracted some attention – Jeff (and Tim) Buckley, Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison…I’m sure there’s more too…the point is, it’s just plain spooky and I am just plain 27. Thirdly, I guess all the ‘Crocodile Hunter’ stuff has spurred off some death-oriented thoughts – just the reality of seeing someone so full of life, suddenly devoid of it, freaks me out. And especially thinking about kids growing up without a parent (which is not a Croc Hunter exclusive scenario, obviously: there are millions if not billions of people out there who’ve lost someone they love), well…there you have it. I can honestly say that the thought of my kids growing up without me there to see it…worst nightmare ever. Even worse than the one where Hannibal Lector invades my house while Mariah Carey sings from inside a bird-cage. Duh.
So…the bottom line is that I’m trying to see all these thoughts (and Ella’s contribution to morning conversation) as not so much a morbid premonition, but as a catalyst to really reassess my priorities.
I mean, indulging just for a momen the idea that I am to die ‘soon’ – what do I really want to do with my time from this point onward?