design by committee at the smorgasbord

dream 1

Do you ever get to the point where you think, what is this damn well about? All this striving to be a success, meanness, competition, retail therapy and manicured toe nails? All this stupidity and wholeness that we fill our lives with, what is it for, what is it really for?

In reality, it doesn’t amount to a hill of beans in the end. Anyone who has collected a loved one in their urn is aware of just how small the remanets of our existence is!

On our tomb stones, it doesn’t read, Here lies a woman of incomparable domestic talents, coiffured hair, a slim waist, gifted children, a hostess who could who could whip up a four course banquet for nineteen with a jar of miracle whip, a frankfurter, eight olives and a passionfruit and never once drove a cherry pitter into the chest of her mother in law, no matter how much the old bag irritated her. Nope, we go into the great goodnight with just our names, and the hope that we were dearly loved.

This week, we learned that Bil’s cancer has invaded his liver and lymph nodes. Today, I spoke with him and told him to let go with the swearing, the protesting and the railing because life really isn’t fair. Life’s a shit and then you die, right?

Why have the gods developed such an array of ways for us to reach our demise? Why could they not have one demise fits all and just have us wilt away like the flowers in the field? Why do some get struck down as they sit on the their toilets to meet their maker with their pants down; or choke on a bread bag tie as they eat their ham sandwich, which brings to mind the question of just how many people do actually get hit by a bus and so is it worth wearing all that clean, unholey underwear? To be made to suffer discomfort, pain, anxiety and terror seems an unfitting end to our earthly existence. Messy, as if the gods never had a full project plan for our ends – and any woman who has gone through child birth would think that the beginning isn’t so grand either!

Maybe the pantheon of gods heard there was an all you could eat smorgasbord on at Adephagia’s Big Plate Greek Diner over on the corner of Mt Olympus and Thessaly, and they all hot footed it over there, leaving Eileithyia and Thanatos to tie up the loose ends and they did a shoddy job on our births and deaths because they didn’t wanted to miss out on the lobster salad.

Yeah, good one guys. Hope you got ecoli.

14 thoughts on “design by committee at the smorgasbord

  1. I’m so sorry about BIL, but in your sorrow at the unfairness of this life, you have written an honest and gritty piece with your characteristic humor.
    I just wrote a post about how it takes uncommon courage to go out of here gracefully. Regarding mom, I said, “There she died on the toilet, alone at the end, but on her terms.” BIL’s demise will not be on his terms, and that’s the rub. Rarely do any of us really get to decide how we want to leave this place.
    “Messy, as if the gods never had a full project plan for our ends…”


  2. I love these posts. Very honest.
    My wife’s parents both succumbed to cancer but fortunately we were able to make their last days comfortable and controlled.
    Thinking of you at this time. I wish him well.


  3. Reblogged this on Dave's (almost) Daily Drivel and commented:
    This touched home – the unfairness of our mortality, the bitterness that’s left behind as loved ones are stripped of their physical and or mental well being and ripped away from us. It’s all so sudden and all so unfair. Thanks FD.


  4. I’m sorry to hear this about your brother-in-law. He should be angry, though I have seen people who were remarkably at peace with a grim diagnosis, as if they had known all along this was their finale. The only concern some of them had was that they not be in pain, and their doctors were too happy to help them with that request.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that we humans tend to think we are in charge of our own destinies until something like this happens: then Nature shows us where we are in the grand scheme of things. Not that I want to be the squashed bug on the windshield or the mouse suddenly scooped up by a hawk and torn apart as breakfast for the nestlings. But it does remind one to make the most of what we have right now, and not waste our time on what is petty and mean. I don’t want my last thought on earth to be, “Dammit, why doesn’t anyone else in this house ever replace the toilet paper?” 😉


    • I think he will find his peace, but he has to work through his shock first. He said to me that he feels frustrated and no longer has any structure to live by. They visit the oncologist on Wednesday – some form of treatment may build some structure into the whole tragedy.


  5. Horribly sad for BIL and those he’ll leave behind. I hope he expresses his anger if that is what he needs to do. Makes us all re-evaluate our time here.


    • I know leaving his wife and daughter is hard, but I think what probably hurts the most is not living to see his three gorgeous grandchildren grow into their teens and beyond. The poor little dears (aged 10, 8 and 4) are trying to process what they are hearing and seeing.


  6. I am sorry about your bil.
    The worst part of dying is knowing that it is imminent. It is so much better for one if death just comes suddenly. Of course, that is hard on the loved ones, but at least, the one to die would have lived his life, not thinking about death (too much).
    Sorry and may your family find the strength to bear with such a difficult situation.


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