I visited my grandpa today. That wouldn’t normally require a blog post, except that I haven’t seen him in about 18 months due to my living in Sydney. The other thing, is that he has Alzheimer’s disease. The long goodbye, as they call it.
It caused me to consider the current moment that we’re in. It’s very nearly 2012.Jan wrote a beautiful post about it today, discussing how it feel liberating for her consciousness not to need to post something every moment. She’ll go offline completely for a few days, and consider what the current moment means.
In The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, there is a passage which I’m often reminded of that resonated with me again this morning after seeing Grandpa. It essentially says ‘consider the day of your death, because it’s the most important day of your life.’ Not being prepared for this, it posits, it one of the greatest crimes of modern man. And I wonder how that remains true in 2012.
Alzheimer’s is the long goodbye. But this morning I wanted it to be the long hello. Grandpa and I don’t really know each other. Not as equals, anyway. He grew up and rose through the ranks of the Victoria Police Force, raised my Dad and his three siblings and played golf. But he didn’t journal, that I know of. There are stories that remain, but not many artifacts of the man that once was. And so, it’s hard to tell if he is or will be ready for death. It was hard to tell if anyone in the hostel we visited this morning was ready. And it was another reminder that I continue to ignore that question, too.
Today, I couldn’t help but wonder what it will look like in the future as our digital selves continue to echo, healthily, through time.