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Pondering Our Relationships (with ourselves, with others and with our mortality)



William Shatner (with Joshua Brandon) wrote the book “Boldly Go Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder” in 2022. Being the Star Trek fan that I am, I had to buy it and read it. Chapter 9, “When I’m Gone” I found particularly reflective.


“I already miss things I did in my youth that I can no longer do. I can no longer ski….there will come a day when I will no longer be able to ride a horse. On that day, I will lose a part of myself. During the writing of this book, I became aware of how much closer I am to that regretful day. My legs are weaker, and my breath is shorter…” (page 205). He further continues with “If I’m aware that it’s my final day when it inevitable comes, I will be filled with sadness and questions. Did I spend enough time with my family? With my friends? With my beloved horses, with my precious dogs? The saving grace of these thoughts is that when they do come into my head on any normal day, I take action. I go back to my horses, I play with my dogs. I tell my wife and my family and my friends that I love them.” (Page 206).


Mr. Shatner seems to have a positive view of death as well as a healthy response to it. However, none of us can predict how we will react during those final moments of our lives. In the movie The Seventh Seal, Crusader Antonius Block is on a beach and approached by the personification of Death. They exchange words. Death then asks Block, “Are you prepared?” Block responds, “My body is afraid, but I am not.” Death approaches closer. Block says, “Wait a moment.” (If you don’t wish to purchase the DVD, a short video clip of this impactful scene is available on YouTube.)


I’ve often wondered what was the reason that made the crusader utter that command. I’d like to think, like Mr. Shatner, he was pondering the relationships in his life. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, and David Kessler wrote the book “Life Lessons How our Mortality can Teach us about Life and Living”.  In its Chapter Three, “The Lesson of Relationships” they make some valid points. “Relationships offer us the biggest opportunities for learning lessons in life, for discovering who we are, what we fear, where our power comes from, and the meaning of true love.” (Page 60)


Pondering your own mortality is part of life. I wish you a life well-lived and a death well-planned.

 

 

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