Monday, 25 June 2012

6 Months To Live

It is the 1st of July 2012.  You are sitting in a doctor’s office and you have just been told that you have 6 months to live.  You will die in December.  The events of the past few weeks have been ominous, mounting signs that something was very wrong.  Nothing, however, could have prepared you for the way you feel right now.  Time slows down.  You reach for someone’s hand next to you, who is there with you? Is anyone there?

You now have 6 months.  What have you always wanted to do that you’ve never done?  What emotional legacy you will leave behind: What do you need to say to the people around you? What physical legacy will you pass on to the world: Something written, something filmed, something painted, something composed? What song will they play at your funeral?

Really, you are supremely lucky.  Most people never glimpse when their invisible ticking timeline will end.  For most people, the chaos of their lives, journals, computer contents, half –finished projects, To Do lists, debts, bills, possessions will be scattered fragments gathered by loved ones.  The people who love you the most will sift through your unfinished life as they process your death.  Their conception of you will be changed by what they find amongst your stuff and your completion will be up to them. 

You, however, have been given a date, December 31st, if you are brave enough to face it, you can finally bite the bullet and do the things you wanted to do.  Follow me on this journey.  You have 6 months.  What can you do before then?

Death In December

1)      Face Death
2)      Life Goals
3)      Physical Legacy
4)      Emotional Legacy
5)      Epitaph (your life in a nutshell)
6)      Funeral


  1. 1. Face Death by Skye

    I chose to go by myself because I thought that was what big girls did. I could still hear the words ‘you don’t have to go it alone’ in my ears and I wondered why it was so hard for me to say ‘please help me’. Fear that my needs would be too much, unchecked, expectations, vulnerability. Fear that I wouldn’t be able to get the balance right. I was still gasping from the kindness.

    Now I am gasping from hearing other words. Other fears. Old fears now realised are rising and it’s like I’m in a high speed elevator in a fancy building and I’m moving so fast, my stomach is still on the ground floor and my heart is in the roof.

    How can it be? Six months? I’m split down the centre. Unbelieving and reeling. I am dying. It’s not like it wasn’t going to happen, but now? December?

    There are no questions and too many questions. I want to run but I can’t move.

    There are things I want for myself before fucking December arrives and they’re going to be mine. Death might be calling for me now but it hasn’t arrived yet.

    What I’m going to do is write a list. I’m going to think about what I need right now and I’m going to ask for help. I know I might not always be able to get it. But if I write that list and work through it, it’s going to keep me on track. With my list I’m going to face my death and by doing so live every single fucking last minute of my life.

  2. 1. Face Death

    I'm not ready to die! I've got so many unfinished projects, and unrealised dreams. Most importantly, I have this gorgeous little boy who needs me so much. Who are you to tell me that I have to leave him? It's not fair!

    If I have to die, you are making me choose. Can I have the six months twice? Once for my family, and once for my art? No. It doesn't work like that, does it?

    I'll write a list. I'll write all the lists I need to. I'll say, 'Fuck it!' more often. I'll tell people I love them, and tell them all the reasons why. I won't be bashful, I won't be afraid. I've spent so much of my life being afraid, being anxious, not wanting to fail. Now the only failure would be not trying at all.

    I will do what I want, but I will not be selfish. Facing death doesn't give me the right to be an arse. I will forgive more easily and embrace more fully.

    I will spend this six months showing my little boy how to really live.