A Very Easy Death and a very simple message.
I have found myself spending a large amount of my time recently wishing that time would move faster.
I’m going on vacation in less than a month. Hurry up time, move faster!
I’m getting married in about a year. Time, why are you moving so slow?
Honestly, the last hour of every wake I work seems to always creep by at such a snail’s pace that I am forced to check my watch every few seconds to make sure that time did not actually stop. And then there are the days in which I am so busy that I look up at the clock and am completely taken aback that my day is practically over. In those instances I find myself putting off certain paperwork and items that are not as dire. I think to myself at these times that I will simply get to them tomorrow.
And then I read A Very Easy Death by Simone de Beauvoir. Briefly, the story is about Simone’s experiences with her mother, Madame de Beauvoir, and her last few weeks alive. Madame de Beauvoir’s story is a sad one, with unfortunate health complications, one, right after another. The story is also a personal one. Told by Simone, she lets her honesty with her mother’s demise flow freely onto the pages. And please forgive me, for I do not remember the exact wording, however a particular part of the book had caught my attention and has had my mind on hold there for quite some time now.
You see, as Madame de Beauvoir’s health continues to decrease, she spends a large majority of her remaining days sleeping. At one part in the book, she wakes only to find that a day has come and gone. Although it does not particularly faze her daughter, Madame is clearly upset by her rest, exclaiming something to the effect of how horrible it is to waste a day sleeping when she has so few left.
And there it was. The seed was planted. I mean, of course for those who have a terminal illness, the days that are remaining are hopefully made the most of, because time is seen as valuable. But what about for the rest of us? Our days are numbered. And yet we let them pass with little care. We take time for granted. And yet, time is all we really have.
I don’t want to waste my days looking forward to something in the future that I’m not promised. I want to live each day, thankful that I’m alive to breathe in the fresh air. I want to take the time to watch the sunset. I want to take the extra minute to tell my parents that I love them before I leave. I want to appreciate every second, knowing that God has indeed blessed me greatly. And if I don’t live long enough to enjoy the things that I look forward to in the future, I want to be sure that I at least took the time to notice the way the first warm day of spring feels after a long winter. And even though this is much harder to act upon, I’m thankful that I read A Very Easy Death. Because there are certain ideas that stay with you. Thanks, Madame.