Nothing’s quite as sobering as learning about the death of a friend. The fact that I hadn’t been in regular touch with the guy over the years since we separated geographically probably mean that I get off easier in the way the news affects me, than those who stayed in touch. I once read somewhere that the biggest proportion of what we feel on hearing of death outside of immediate family or friends is that of dread that it could just as easily happen to us. The remainder is actual sadness for the person and those impacted by the loss. If he’d left 10 mins later, or had arrived at that spot on the road 5 mins earlier, or if the other driver had cancelled his trip. When its people from our peer group, who go from being regular individuals to being mentioned in the past tense in the matter of a day or two, its disconcerting. And it tends to bring up thoughts that you frequently snigger at on hallmark cards and inspirational fridge magnets. I’m talking more than “call your parents” or “stop and listen to birds”
If you were told you had until your Xth birthday, would it change anything? If the answer is yes, then maybe its worth pausing to re-evaluate. What are we doing today that assumes immortality? What are the things I want to have done more of and by consequence, what are things I want to have done less of? It’s almost easier to answer the latter half of the question before arriving at the answer to the first half. Is it too frivolous to say, I want to have spent less time in traffic? I don’t think so. I’d also like to not have to worry about scrapes and dents on my perpetually ‘the one in the next price segment’ car. I want to not resign myself to being ridiculously leveraged in order to have a piece of property registered in my name, the consequence being to pass up on doing so many more interesting things. I’d like to not rely on getting my kicks by buying/consuming more. That’s already quite a list and it remains to be seen if I remember it a fortnight from now.
For now, to say goodbye to AD. An ever-willing tennis and gym partner. RIP buddy.