Today marks a week since my husband and I lost our close friend, Greg Asphaugh.
He was only 26 years old.
His whole life stood before him.
To take my mind off of the events of the past week, I decided to sit down and finally finish Jitterbug Perfume, by Tom Robbins, which I had originally started nearly a month back and had to set aside just 100 pages in, as my school and work schedule was too heavy at the time.
For those of you who have never read Jitterbug Perfume, it’s a novel involving four simultaneous plotlines [that eventually merge] which explores the concepts of self-reliance, sexuality, individual expression, and, most importantly, immortality.
One of the most controversial of topics.
In finishing the book last night, it’s really had me thinking about my mortality. Our lives are so fragile. They are so easily taken for granted, lost, given up, thrown away, or otherwise not appreciated.
It is said that the quest for immortality is a selfish one.
But what if you sought it out not for yourself, but for everyone else?
What if your pursuit of a life free of death was to protect those you love from suffering and eventual death?
What if you were willing to risk everything – including your own life – to give immortality to those you love?
Perhaps this is the most selfish pursuit of all, as you’d be doing it to protect yourself from the pain of their loss.
I have no desire to live forever. In fact, I’ve made it very clear to my husband and my family that the moment my body/mind is not capable of sustaining itself through reasonable means, I want to pass away quietly, serenely, and without complication or argument among my loved ones. I don’t want to be on an artificial ventilator or need to be in a medically induced coma. If it’s my time, I want to pass.
I say this, but if the roles were reversed and one of my loved ones were in the ICU, I’d spare no expense and fight for every single tool to sustain their life. I’d go against their wishes, even, if it meant I could keep them on this earth for one more day.
Funny how we’re selfish like that, right?
I’m grateful for the days I’m given and I’m going to do my best to live them as fully as I can moving forward.
Optimistic for joy, laughter, and love in the days ahead,
~ Victoria Elizabeth