What is Life Without Me?

Read my title statement in a quiet room all by yourself and ponder just what does it mean? I saw a film My Life Without Me recently which is about a 25 year old woman who learns she has terminal cancer. It goes through the last weeks of her life with her two children and her husband. She writes a list to herself of all the things which are so important to her that she must do them before she dies; see her dad who is in prison, leave tape recordings to her daughters to be played on each of their birthdays until they are 18, make love to a man who is not her husband, find a wife for her husband, get a haircut.

As I wade through several satirical “reviews” of this film and I keep running into the word maudlin, I wonder if these “reviewers” have any other words in their vocabulary. I found the film refreshing and uplifting considering its potential for the opposite. I looked around a while until I found a review with which I could agree and I found it at World/Independent Film.

I hope I can die the way she did, with dignity and courage, maybe, if I’m lucky and know when, not telling anyone just as she did. What an incredible feeling that must be to know your days are seriously numbered and no one you know has any idea just how numbered are those days.

In one short scene she walks through a shopping mall and talks about how truly trivial are the things in the windows and on the models and the store dummies, how really worthless are the things with which we surround ourselves.

Just what do we live for? Can anyone tell me? What is this purpose? Is it to listen to the birds sing in the trees, or the wind whistle through the leaves? Perhaps it is to listen to or look at the few aberrations of humankind– music, dance, theatre, film, paintings or photography? Most of the rest of what passes for society anymore has no real value. We work so we can buy things we neither need nor can afford so we can go out and pay for them with money we do not have. We drive fast cars and eat at fancy restaurants, animals are slaughtered by the millions so we can drive through and not waste time from our appointed rounds—all for what?

Yeh, I know, we all ponder the “meaning of life” yet so few of us really live that I have to wonder what all the fuss is about when people say they are so afraid of dying. If we aren’t really living then why not die? Does it really matter? It must not be in the grand total of things. If I die the world comes to an end, yet if someone in Iraq dies as the result of a murderous war policy no one seems to care. The threat of death is always with each of us, and we still go on as if we have forever to live.

What would each of you really do if you found out, as the woman in the film, that you only had three months to live? Would you really continue as you are or would you do something different? If you would do something different then why aren’t you doing that now? Why do we waste such beautiful and delicious opportunities on such trivial and worthless matters as the so-called “modern” lifestyle?
In the comtemplation of just such a question I stumbled across a web site called “The Longevity Game? It is interesting to see what the “experts” (an insurance company) say about our age and our lifestyle. So if I’m supposed to live so long why won’t they lower my life insurance premiums instead of raising them?

If you have any clues about the meaning of our lives and what you believe waits after you die, lemme know, I would like to hear all about it.

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