we mortals are but shadows…

i’m so sick and tired of being sick. and i’m sure you must be tired of hearing me whinge and moan about it. the reality is, i’m not alone. i see it in status updates all over my social networks, i encountered it in the line at dischem with every second person hacking away, and now the bf who tried to ignore the symptoms is also spending all night hacking away and having to sleep sitting upright.

it’s almost 2 weeks and i still feel like i have a pachyderm sitting on my chest and i do a pretty good job of sounding like  one everytime i blow my nose. i have not been this ill in probably 20 yrs.

i wrote the above 2 days ago, not realizing i was about to get even sicker. yesterday, i finally had to go on round 2 of antibiotics and hire a nebulizer. i went to work – you know, the show must go on, but i was feeling dreadful. i was stopping every few lines or so to mop up the rivers streaming from my nose and by the time i got home and to bed, i was having a major pity-party. when the bf came home, i think he was a little freaked at the state i was in and called the doctor who advised me to take some of his cortisone  and if i got any worse, to take me to the emergency room (cortisone puffs one up. for an actress, it’s the last thing you want, but i was so ill that i finally conceded.). it might sound dramatic, but i seriously wondered if this was what dying felt like. i was feeling decidedly mortal.

today i’m much better. it seems that the cortisone and the elephant-strength anti-histamine and antibiotics have done the trick. i’m beginning to feel like i might actually survive this.

then, in the past hour i saw the news in my twitter stream that fiona coyne, presenter of the s.a. version of “the weakest link”, has died in a car accident. just this morning i passed one of those mercedes smart cars and thought again about actress ashley callie dying in one of them, and then this news about fiona. it’s really making me contemplate how vulnerable we are. the packaging we’re in is pretty resilient, but not when you’re hurtling through space in a metal box.

there have been times in my life when i’ve thought about how much easier it would be to not be here. no, i’m not a believer in suicide, but i have sometimes felt like sisyphus pushing that god-damned rock up the mountain for a futile infinity.

and yet, i surprised myself recently when i thought about the date that would be on my tombstone. never mind that i won’t have a tombstone. i’m being cremated (followed hopefully by the most balls to the wall party by those who care to attend). on the one hand i feel like it doesn’t really matter, yet the thought of that date made me  anxious. i could feel my chest tighten. so maybe i’m not quite done here. maybe i’ve yet a few more rounds to go with that rock.

i just think about fiona and the fact that she probably had no idea that today would be her last. what plans did she have for tonight, tomorrow, the weekend? it makes me sad. as i said on twitter earlier, it really makes one contemplate one’s mortality when the people with whom we shared our youth, die.

fiona R.I.P.

and for those of us still here, even if we know we’re going to have to push the rock up the mountain so many umpteen more times, maybe let’s try  to rock out while we’re at it. we’re all headed for the same destination – let’s make the journey count.

if you knew the dates in your obituary, would you do anything differently? and how would you want people to remember you?

updated @ 17h47 : it appears that fiona did not die in a crash, but was found by her domestic worker at 08h40 this morning. no foul play is suspected and 2 notes addressed to the domestic and her mom were found. suicide is suspected, not yet confirmed. she chose the date for her obituary. even sadder.

9 thoughts on “we mortals are but shadows…

  1. I like this post:) Sadly very few of us contemplate our mortality, and because of this we lose valuable time that we could have spent making ourselves and other people happy. I went through a long process of cutting things out of my life after my own near fatal accident and i’ve made so many changes since then. But reading this reminded me that in some things i was falling back into the old way of not living every second as if it might be your last. Thank you for reminding me:)

    *big hugs* hope you’re back to 100% in no time. I know how it feels to be sick for what feels forever…praying for a quick recovery honey:) *hugs*

  2. thanks my friend. you know, i think we need to keep reminding each other because it’s so easy to forget. hopefully someone will remind me next time this awareness fades.

  3. Good post lady. It’s sad that something horrible needs to happen for us to realise what we have and to appreciate what we have :-/ Hope you feel better soon.

  4. Nice post, Sass. I would like to believe that I live my life with no regrets, but obviously, I do. Things that I wish I’d done and hadn’t done, people I’ve met and those that I’ve missed.

    Getting my Harley in Feb this year was a life-changing moment for me.

    When I go, I’m definitely not going to do it with a whimper!!

  5. Shoowee if I knew the date on my tombstone I would do a long travelling trip right now with no regards to my career, just so I could get it all in before I peg. Maybe I hould do it anyway!

  6. I have only communicated with Fiona a couple of times on FB and via e-mail – she said she liked the way I think… how trivial that is now?

    I got a news update on my PC and I kinda just sat there.. it can’t be real, surely? She is not much older than I am. Her status updates lately mentioned maybe falling in love…. a life to live.

    I felt incredibly sad.

    To be honest however, when I read tonight about her suspected suicide I was not surprised. I am not sure why not.

    I’ve been sick for weeks now also and everyone is tired of hearing it…. but tonight as I write this, I am going to see YOU, like I did at Angel’s wedding – smiling, showing me your tattoo and lighting up the room. This is my memory of you.


  7. you know, the irony is that fiona and i weren’t even fb friends. i thought we were, then discovered today we weren’t. i haven’t seen her in ages, but we’ve had exchanges on fb and we acted together those eons ago at the start of my career in cape town.
    it all seems a waste somehow and at the same time, proof that we really have no idea what is going on in any one else’s head.

    anyway, i hope we are both feeling better soon.

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