Death is certain, life is not

The title of this post might sound like cod-philosophy (which it is) but it seems oddly apt this week. An old work colleague had it tattooed on his arm back in the early 90s, along with a rather fetching skull motif, daggers and the like. I didn’t particularly like the phrase then and I don’t really like it now, but it does ring true. Our lives are full of uncertainty, and at the end of it all is the only certain thing (apart from taxes obviously).

I’m feeling a little maudlin. I found out a few days ago that a friend of mine from band was involved in a terrible boating accident and drowned. His body was missing for a couple of days, adding to the emotional suffering of his family. His death has affected me but I hate to imagine how it’s affected his family, especially his father who was with him at the time. Sometimes life sucks. Big time.

There’s a selfish aspect to this too. It brings home questions about your own mortality. Life really is uncertain. We can plan all we like but sometimes the unexpected comes along and fucks everything up. Everything.

I’ve had some ups and downs over the years – though mostly ups – but my downs cannot even remotely compare to my friend’s drowning. His family are in my thoughts.

Another event today reinforced this principle of life uncertainty. We were heading down to Coventry for Sunday lunch with my in-laws when we happened upon an accident on the approach to the A52. Some old guy in a Corsa had managed to knock some poor cyclist of their bicycle while turning into the pub carpark. He was lying prone in the middle of the road and obviously in a lot of pain.

Jo, being the medically-trained professional that she is, stopped the car, threw the keys at me and launched herself into action. It was amazing to see her in action and she soon had the guy as comfortable as she could. He was quite confused but not obviously seriously hurt. Luckily for him he was wearing a cycle helmet because he’d managed to cut his head a bit even with it on.

This poor guy was injured because of someone else’s carelessness. There’s not much you can do about that. It wasn’t all bad news, though, as it was obvious from the people that were around at the time that there are many, many good, caring people around. Most of the bystanders remained calm, one or two helped to comfort the injured guy and a few others directed traffic around the incident. The ambulance came (ambulances as it turned out – we managed to get a spare one too!) and the guy will be sore for a while but he’ll be OK.

Life really is uncertain. You don’t know what’s around that corner but I’m not about to sit around waiting for the worst to happen. I’d rather enjoy the life that I have. That’s pretty much what I’ve been doing so far and I see no reason not to continue to do so. I’m going to do my level best not to be the cause of someone other poor sod’s misfortune, but life is for living. I’m going to bloody well live it while I’ve got it.

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