The knowledge of death coming sooner than later is something none of us want to hear.
(It changes everything and nothing at the same time.)
This passage honestly sounds like going through the grieving process – trying to decide what you want to spend your limited time doing. And grappling with the truth staring back at you…
I think we should all be doing this.
Because there is less time than we imagine.
And the stakes are higher than we can dream.
The tricky part of illness is that, as you go through it, your values are constantly changing. You try to figure out what matters to you, and then you keep figuring it out. It felt like someone had taken away my credit card and I was having to learn how to budget. You may decide you want to spend your time working as a neurosurgeon, but two months later, you may feel differently. Two months after that, you may want to learn to play the saxophone or devote yourself to the church. Death may be a one-time event, but living with terminal illness is a process.
-Paul Kalanithi, When Breath Becomes Air (Amazon)