My father-in-law is dying. He most likely has only weeks to live. As dying goes, he’s doing it really well, surrounded by loved ones, with good professional home-hospice care. He’s a renowned poet and translator, well respected, loved by hundreds if not thousands of students, ex-students, colleagues, friends, and family. He’s lived a full, uncompromising life, and was lucky enough to fall deeply in love, once again, in the last few months. The house where he’s staying, in the Berkeley hills, has a stupendous view of the bay. He’s cogent, self-aware, and taking on this final challenge with grace, courage, and an open heart.
The situation has made me think about what’s important in life. That’s something I think about a lot, but now more so than ever.