Bucket Lists

I’m still thinking about the guy from primary school. He worked out on the oil rigs, not uncommon for smart guys from The Shire. It’s good money if you have the smarts and can cope with the weird isolation of a rig. A lot of the people who I went to primary school with, some I went to secondary school with are on Facebook sharing memories, grief and such.

I didn’t know him well, I’ve left a message of condolence with one of his brothers. Mostly I’ve been reading the grief of the people that led interconnected lives between us . Also I spent much of today thinking about his mother who had a profound effect on me growing up. To have your son die suddenly so close to Mother’s Day is an emotional gut punch I can’t even fathom.

He was in his early forties, it was a brain haemorrhage, the sort of thing that just happens. Sometimes you’re too far away from land or you’re not noticed in time, and sometimes even if it happened in the middle of A&E nothing could be done. Life can be Russian Roulette without you realising the trigger’s been pulled, let alone there’s one in the chamber.

His family are taking comfort in his donating organs. One of the profound influences his mother had on me was that no matter what utter dicks the Christians in front of me or in the news are being I know that some of them are genuinely being good elsewhere. I guess the fact that I believe being good is quietly getting on and doing the hard thing is probably down to his Mum too. It strikes me that being told your son is dead but being kept on life support for other people’s lives is hard but good.

It’s doing that thing that mortality does of course, a quick Et In Arcadia Ego, did he do what he wanted with his life? I hope he did, certainly before the age of thirteen he seemed to be one of those guys who seizes opportunities with gusto and to see the funny inherent within the world. Perhaps he changed, probably he grew at least a little more serious though I doubt he made it all the way to Serious. I hope that the wind and the waves, the hum and buzz of the mechanisms, the very male atmosphere of the rig have him joy on the last day of his life. I hope he said something that made someone laugh. I hope his last moments he was himself to the hilt.

All these things of course I suspect are ciphers for what I wish my own death will be like. I hope that he achieved what he wanted most to have achieved. I hope I will have as well.

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