Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Facing Mortality

Where do I begin? I have spent a large portion of the last five years pondering many aspects of life, as that was when I was diagnosed with cancer, an aggressive breast cancer with a poor prognosis. I am now past the point of which only 20% survive. Now I ponder why am I still here, what is my purpose, mission, etc. 

Obviously the cancer evoked many emotions initially and every day since. Although I can say, oddly enough, my situation never made me angry and I never asked why me. Why? I don’t know. I am by no means a saint or perfect. I am certain I have repeatedly gone through numerous other emotions, good and bad, on this roller-coaster ride of a life.

While exploring my feelings, as well as those of others in a similar situation and those of the people closest to me, I have often felt utterly confused and baffled. Why does it often take devastating news to awaken some to the reality of our mortality? Is it because our “average” life spans have continued to increase with time, that death seams so far away; Is it because we see it as a negative, that we block it from our thoughts; Is it because we are exposed to so much worldwide news everyday, that we have become numb; or Is it for all of the above or some other reason? I think I have come to the conclusion that it is because of all of the above AND for other reasons. We are all unique, shaped by too numerous factors, more than I can list, such as genetics, beliefs, experiences, location, etc.

Okay, we are all going to die some day. This is not necessarily negative, rather it is simply a fact of life. But what do we do with that knowledge? How do we live, educate our children, treat others, care for our environment, etc.? Maybe because we are living longer, believe it to be negative, are numb from overexposure, etc., that we should purposefully discuss it more often... or maybe not discussing death, but life because of death. Does that make any sense?

I am going to stop there for today, as I tend to go off onto tangents and lose focus often, as I am sure I will expose in future entries or have already in this one.


  1. I agree that it's all of the above, and then some. For me, I think it might also be fear of taking stock of what I've done with the life I was given. If I acknowledge that I could die very soon - not that I think that's a possibility for any medical reason at present - then it means I'm way short of my goals to "do better". I haven't volunteered enough, I haven't given back enough - I know these things - but if I figure I have another 20 yrs to make good, it's okay, ya know? Love the blog Julie, we all need to think a little more about this crap. I'd just say that I am very, very glad you are in the minority of those who beat your odds. I love you and hope to see you soon.

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  3. I'm so happy you started this Julie.
    People need to know that this could
    happen to anybody at anytime! Get
    yourself right before its to late.
    Now I just need to practice what I
    preach:)Love you girl!
    Your doing a great job!

  4. Hi Julie! I think this is a great thing you're doing, I've enjoyed reading your blogs and can't wait to read more. I wish I had the ability to put my thoughts and feelings into words the way you have here. You're very brave, I envy you :)