Death and taxes
Everybody dies that’s a certainty. And this week I am dealing with two of life’s certainties, death and taxes.
I reckon some clever individuals may figure out how to escape tax. Little children as well maybe, escape tax unless you say everything that they consume is already taxed one way or the other. But death, that’s a surety.
My friend’s mother passed away. It was not sudden. She had been sick a while. But that did not make it any less devastating. She was well loved. She had lived a good life. But like all of us will, and like so many before her, she traversed through that door called Death.
And when things like this happen we can’t help but think of our own mortality. What will happen to us? When will we die? And for me it seems even more poignant, will anyone know I’ve died? Thing is I live alone and you hear of people who die in their sleep. Or maybe I’ll slip on wet tiles and split open my skull. If I was to die in my sleep how long would it take for someone to notice? A day? Two days? A week?
At work, they may want to know why I missed a day. Someone may call me at the end of the day, if they had needed me for something and I haven’t pitched. Else it’s more likely the very next day that they will actually call. But if I don’t pick up it’s not as if they would come checking. They would just keep calling wondering why I am not responding. Work has my address but no-one actually knows where I live. They may hunt down my cousin who is my next of kin, and she would try call, then maybe after work she’d pass by my house, but she has no keys, she’d knock, hoot and shout. Then maybe go look for a locksmith to open my garage and door… How many days will have passed?
I speak to my mum and my siblings but not daily. A week may pass, sometimes two sometimes three. So they would not think anything of it if they haven’t heard from you for a while. All the clubs, the sports, the choirs, the church activities, the committees I take part in, girl guides… they’d all wonder where I am, and call but would they come looking?
Does not make for a pretty picture, but I’m not sure how to change it.
It’s also tax season, and for the first time in a long time I am not ready. The past 5 years or so I have submitted my tax returns about 2 months before they are due. This year I will barely make the deadline. Because I’m quite fastidious about my paperwork and receipts it would take me home only a couple of hours to get it done. Yet I’ve been dragging my feet to do it. It won’t go away until it’s done.
And I’m realising that need to change something. I’m not scared of death and pray when I die it’s peaceful and I’m in a state of grace, but like my tax return, I don’t always keep that current. Tax returns have a date, you see it looming and prepare for it, and like me today submit just in time. Death not so much, no one knows the day or the hour. So I need to be as fastidious with keeping my life in order, making sure I am ‘good’ with God, at all times.
This will take some effort, same as figuring out how to cultivate more intimate relationships, who will worry when they have not heard from me on a particular day. It won’t happen by itself, I need to do something. Same as I had to actually sit and submit that return just minutes ago, I have to make sure I am like one of the wise virgin’s ready with her oil and lamp. I have to be that intimate someone to another in order to have that happen back.
I’m not sure what to change yet. Divine Inspiration Lord.