It’s about time I figured this out after nine years as a hospice chaplain. A patient’s daughter showed me how to tamp down my intermittent fear of death. And you don’t even have to buy into an afterlife to value what Jill said. It was a “usual” day at work, and I was talking with her as she was nearing the point of losing her loved one then and there. She just up and made the following aphorism: “When you are tired, you go to sleep. When you are Tired, you are ready to pass on.”
Naturally she did not “capitalize” and “bold” the “t” with some auditory equivalent, but this is what I pictured as she said it. Depending on what “tired” writ large suggests to you, I believe whatever you come up with would illustrate what she meant, making it a superb aphorism indeed. When my turn to die comes, I think being Tired will mean feeling satisfied that I accomplished and enjoyed personal and creative and professional goals but at the same time having such a low physical quality of life that I will be good and ready to say bye bye. Maybe for someone else it will mean once all their loved ones are gone, they will be ready to leave everything else behind. And for someone who believes in an afterlife, (I am an agnostic in that regard) it may mean they are ready to join those who preceded them, continuing their love on a different level.
Like the aphorism, it may be wise to keep this post unusually short and conclude by asking you two questions: (1) Does this lady’s remark mean anything to you too or does it seem trivial and/or obvious? (2) If you do find it meaningful, what might make you feel “Tired” enough for your own farewell?