Keskiviikko 26.9.2018
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Jos me elämme Hengen varassa, meidän on myös seurattava Hengen johdatusta. Emme saa tavoitella turhaa kunniaa emmekä ärsyttää ja kadehtia toisiamme. Gal. 5:25-26

Blog: Six months

in English 23.4.2018 06:06 | Päivämies-verkkolehti
What if you were told that you will only live for six more months?
You know that you can speak and move and use your hands. You can see well, hear, smell, and touch. You are able to think rationally and remember things. But you know you will die six months from now.

What would you do? With whom would you like to spend your last months, days, moments? Is there a place you would like to visit again or even just this once? What would you still want to accomplish?

I heard this question while attending a training course a few years ago, and I have sometimes asked it myself. Although I have not been given any such deadline, it is interesting to pause and ponder about the possibility.

Six months equals to about 180 days, 259 200 minutes, 15 552 000 seconds. How many fragments of thought will flash through my mind in a second? How many times will I imagine my death?

The idea of death is like a thrilling but agreeable pressure on my chest. It is similar to the feeling of expectation before the first meeting with a new group of students or the sound of the first strokes of a wedding march played for my child. I know I will soon have a completely new and valuable experience. That experience is waiting at the door, ready to step in.

What would I like to do before my death? Would I travel? I have traveled very little and do not particularly like traveling. I might travel somewhere close to home, to see some relatives in the south of the country. Would I have time to go to Canada to see my sister? I would meet my children’s families without any hurry.  I would pick up the little ones and hold them, discuss with the adults. I would like to share with them things that I have learnt myself: stories of my family, some thoughts and traditions. I would tell them that the value of the person does not lie in their profession or status, their intelligence or health. That we should not work on Sundays, unless we have to. That it is good to speak and thereby share our thoughts. That we can trust in the good outcome of all things.  

I hope my husband could come with me on some of these visits. We could reminisce about the joys and mishaps of our years together, we could put right misunderstandings and make up deliberate hurts. I hope we would have time to pause and plan the future life of my family without me. I hope we could go shopping and walking and could just pass time together, close to each other.

I also have some personal dreams. I would like to complete the manuscript of my life story, to compile the poems and other texts into a single volume. I would leave verbal memories, because knitted socks or shawls, woven rugs, paintings, or songs are not really my thing.

The pressure on my chest feels lighter now that I have written down my thoughts. I realize that I could start putting my plan into action now: good things, peaceful discussions, listening to other people. Apologizing for wounding words and forgiving them. Recording my own story. I do not know how many tomorrows I will have. And it is good I don’t. I can freely live the moment that we have right now.

Text: Mirja Heikkilä
Translation: Sirkka-Liisa Leinonen

You will find the original Finnish blog post here


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