I am at peace with death’s inevitability. I know that I have far less time in my future than I have had in my past. But I’m comforted with knowing that I have lived a fulfilled life. My children are thriving. My writing is accepted and admired. I have made a real contribution to the understanding of what happened during the Vietnam war, especially at the end with the fall of Saigon in 1975.
It hasn’t been a perfect or very virtuous life. I’ve faced my share of losses and sorrow, and I’ve done things I regret. But I’ve also had great joys, and I worked hard to make life better for others. On the whole, I’m satisfied with the gifts life has given me and with what I have done with those gifts.
At the moment, I’m confident that I can face the dying process bravely and peacefully. I am determined to make it as easy as I can for others, particularly my children. I long ago discovered that what I do for others constitutes the greatest gift I can give to myself. Compassion heals and brings peace.
And I am relatively satisfied that I’ve accomplished my mission on earth. I’ve done good work that will survive my death.
I see no signs that death is close by. I’m remarkably healthy for a man my age. I have been a runner and weight lifter all my life, and I’m careful about my diet. But one never knows what the future holds.
That said, I’m not ready to die right now. I have too much work to do. I’m hawking a new book for publication and writing two others. I have blogs to write, presentations to give, people to help.
In short, I accept the inevitability of death and I’m at least somewhat prepared to go through the process of dying in a way that will cause the least discomfort for those around me. But not yet. I need more time because I still have important work to do.