Parents and final farewells

We’ve reached that age where slowly one by one our older generation are saying their final farewells. As I was telling my mum how my friends parents have died, she tells me that she also wishes such a death. A death where you don’t suffer an agonising slow death. People call it a good death, but my uncle who is well versed in the ‘Bhagavatham’ told me recently that a good death means that you leave this world at a time when you’ve achieved what you want out of life. A time when you are at peace with the world and yourself and leave it in a satisfied state. I remind my mother of this and she tells me that she feels that she is ready. She’s just had her two knees sorted out and is running around like a headless chicken. She still has a good few years left in her. She’s not going anywhere that easily.

I was just about to leave for my walk yesterday evening when the phone rings. It’s Hilda. ‘When are you bringing the lil’ un’ to see me?’ She asks. It used to be ‘how are you, when are you coming to see me’ but now it’s all about the little one. I have some babysitting duties coming up soon and I tell her that I will go and see Hilda then. She sounds happy. This is how I want my mum to be when she reaches Hilda’s grand age of 98.

As I walk my usual path, I see an elderly couple walking along in front of me. Both of them in their eighties and holding on tightly to each other. The old gentleman has a walking stick. Both of them bent over with age and having difficulty maintaining their balance. As they stagger along they sway from side to side, with only the stick to stop them both from falling, but they manage. It gives me pleasure to watch them making that effort. They could have spent their evening at home in front of the telly , but evenings like this are meant to be enjoyed. I hope that I will have their energy when I reach that stage.

As we gradually say our final goodbyes to our parents, I hope that they have achieved what they have wanted in life, and found their inner peace and contentment before leaving this world for their final holiday destination.

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