Letting Go of Things that Matter Not

I have a story to tell. It’s not the usual story that unfolds here. It’s a story of meeting up with the inevitability of mortality.

As I lay on a stretcher in an ambulance barreling down I-81, sirens blaring at 9 o’clock on an ink-black night, I wasn’t thinking of literature. I wasn’t thinking of writing. All I could think of was how this could not be my rendezvous with Death. The EMT certainly thought it was, for she whispered to me, “What do you want me to tell your husband, you know, if … .” And she left unsaid what seemed to be the truth at the time.

Later, after a blur of days, after proddings and pokings in nearly all my orifices, I rode in the Cadillac of wheelchairs out of the hospital’s exit door. I understood, I think, the relief of a prisoner being released from confinement.

And later still, I thought about the close call I’d had with the Grim Reaper. Now that I could reflect, Emily Dickinson’s words flooded my consciousness:

Because I could not stop for Death –
He kindly stopped for me –
The Carriage held but just Ourselves –
And Immortality.

And the only thought I wish to leave here tonight with you is this: Do what you love. Take time to enjoy your days. Let irritations and hate and other things go.

Blessings to you all.



© 2017 C. Bertelsen


20 Comments Add yours

  1. Me, as well! Thank you, Marian.


  2. Thank you, Michaele. Sorry to be so late in replying, but as I’ve said in a few other comments, I have had practically no Internet access for two weeks.


  3. Thank you for writing. And I hope to write many more posts – have been off grid for about two weeks.


  4. DeeLaw54 says:

    I agree Cynthia, that our life and enjoyment matters. Finding time to enjoy the small puddles of happines can make you smile…


  5. DeeLaw54 says:

    I agree that our life we have now should be enjoyed


  6. merrildsmith says:

    I’m glad you’re feeling better.


  7. Beautiful post. And such a reminder. Sometimes it takes this reminder of our mortality to make us see what is important. Blessings to you.


  8. marianbeaman says:

    Lovely – Glad it was a non-eulogy!


  9. michaelelliott says:

    > Thank you for this. > >


  10. Anonymous says:

    So happy and relieved that you are still with us and have provided us with a dash of wisdom that we can all reflect on and perhaps reorder our lives accordingly. God bless!


  11. Susana says:

    Cherish life and tell your loved family and friends how much you care about them. Take very good care of yourself. Blessings.


  12. Thank you, my dear Beth.


  13. This happened about a month ago, I am doing much better’ it was an ulcer, not a heart attack, but the two can mimic each other in terms of pain. I’ve given up on the constant striving.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Hi Kitty, very sorry to hear about your husband. Those new normals are hard to get used to. Thank you for writing, as always.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Thank you, I am glad, too! So much of the time we get caught up in auto pilot … .


  16. OMG Cynthia ! So glad you are here to write and proffer this good advice for us all. Happy New Year and may 2017 be truly a good one for you!


  17. Kitty Morse says:

    Dear Cynthia: How well I understand. My husband had a stroke last summer, and, once again, we adjust to a new normal. He is recovering, but you are right on: do what you love NOW, with the ones you love. Speedy recovery to you. Please keep us posted.


  18. merrildsmith says:

    Oh my goodness, Cindy. You certainly know how to get attention. I’m so glad that it was not your time. I hope you’re feeling better. Thank you for the reminder to take the time for what is truly important. Blessings back to you.


  19. Beth Ann Rossi says:

    Wonderful words to start the new year with and wonderful to have you here to say them. Prayers are yours dear lady.


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