Monday, January 17, 2011

Death's random scattergun

Attended friend's funeral. Breast cancer. It had permeated her system like a relentless, creeping poison, such that the last five years had been an accelerating succession of ectomies - extraction after extraction in an attempt, futile, to get ahead, cut it off, cut it out.

She 'spoke' at her funeral, having written her own eulogy, firstly apologising for not lasting the course, thanking her family and friends for all the love they'd given and shown her, and finally, attempting to cheer us all up.

We questioned afterwards why it's always the good that die young, leaving the bad to go on hurting and hating. And it occurred to me that life's a battlefield. We all start in the same place, running for the other side, dodging the bullets from some random scattergun.

There are sprinters, the ground gainers, whose purpose is single-minded - a frantic full pelt, looking straight ahead, trampling those in their path... And there are dawdlers, dilly-dalliers, who slow to turn their face to the sun, feel lush turf under their feet, and grab the warm outstretched hands of others. Lovers of life, easy targets.

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