No one knows exactly when death will arrive so how can a person practice for death?
One part of the day I look forward to the most is, well, sleep. Sleep at night. Sleep during a nap. Even sleep sitting up in my living room chair.
The parts of sleep– other than being unconscious and not aware of the effects of ALS– I prefer the most are, 1) lying down, relaxing, and getting ready to snooze off, and, 2) waking up relaxed, but not getting out of bed; just chilling (literally; the fan and air conditioner both make it easy to stay in bed, less inviting to get out of bed; except for that bladder nonsense).
Sleep is, in an odd way– as a person waits for death– practicing for death. After all, what happens when we die? The Bible calls death sleep, so sleep can be considered practice.
I’m practicing for death.
My muscles are going into persistent contractions and cramps; fasciculations have increased to the point beyond annoyance. Physical movement is more limited than at any point I can remember in my life. Mental distress has increased, too, because ALS brings a definite and nasty end to life despite medicine, physical therapy, and perseverance.
Yet, here I am, thinking, typing, eating occasionally, and still somewhat mobile (I have the pleasure of going to the bathroom on my own, though shadowed by my very expensive attendant of 40 years).
The whole process of going to the bathroom is sufficiently exhausting– even with a mobile ventilator in tow– that once I return to my chair or the bed I definitely begin to consider the sleep of death as a practical alternative.
Sleep, for now, is practicing for death.