Sometimes I’m not in the mood to write about sex. I realize that’s what most of our readers expect. Sex is one of the three most profound human experiences and the only one under our direct control. The others are birth and death. Those two bookends border our lives. What happens between them is up to us.
It’s always safe to write about sex. As far as mother nature is concerned, sex is the only reason we live. Every species is driven to reproduce. Anything else we do is window dressing. When we move out of biology, the rest of human endeavor comes into focus. Much of that is about birth, death, and sex.
I’ve been melancholy today. I keep seeing the last minutes of our dog Daisy’s life. She was in horrible pain. Death was the relief she deserved. The vet brought her out to let us say goodbye. She was in so much pain that she paced with her mouth open wide. I don’t know if she knew we were there. I didn’t want to waste any time letting her suffer. We rang the bell for the vet.
What happened next was one of the most profound experiences I’ve ever had. When the vet gave her a sedative, she slept on the floor. She was our sweet pet snoozing on the rug. Her eyes were open. When she got the drug that stopped her heart, I could see the light go out behind her eyes. It was like a switch was flipped. Her eyes became dark. Life was gone. I lost a wonderful friend.
I wondered what happened on the other side of her eyes. What did she feel? Was it comfort and that profound sigh of relief that we feel when sleep comes at last? Was she even aware it was the end? Was it how I felt when the doctor gave me an intravenous sedative? I was in the room with my wife, and then all was black.
Much smarter people than me have written about the last second when the lights go out. Some say that we awaken somewhere else. Others believe that the black is forever. I’m sure that when my light goes out, I won’t have time to remember or regret. Experience is always in the past tense.
All those profound experiences are memories. Just as I can’t remember the world before I was born, I won’t be aware of anything when my light goes out. My mother, who was one of the most pessimistic people I ever knew, said something profound about death. She said that death isn’t painful. All of the pain is felt by the survivors. I think that’s true.
Am I foretelling my demise? I don’t think so. I’m just aware that with every tick of the clock, the time when my light goes out gets closer. I better enjoy life before it gets too dark to see.