And I realise now that it coincides beautifully with another thought that has been on my mind a lot recently.
True confession: this Lent has been a poor one for me. I just couldn't 'settle' into the spirit of Lent as I usually do.
But it seems I peaked sharply in the last week or so.
Better late than never :-)
Tonight, the 'night of impending death' as I like to call it, otherwise known as 'Maundy' or 'Holy' Thursday, my thoughts turn to ... death.
Many years ago, on this night, Our Lord was pacing up and down the Garden of Olives, otherwise known as the Garden of Gethsemane, thinking about his impending death. He had just had a meal, washed the feet of a few of his closest friends...knowing one of them was going to condemn him to death, death by a kiss, the kiss of betrayal. He was imploring his friends to stay with him, watch with him, pray with him.
They were falling asleep, human as they were :-)
Some of my most introspective moments came at moments where I witnessed impending death. I have witnessed a few.
A number of them stick in my mind like a sore thumb.
It strikes me that the reason I have such vivid memories of these impending death situations is that they are moments of great honesty.
It all hangs out.
No holding back.
It is both beautiful and ugly.
It is both fascinating and frightening.
It is both strong and vulnerable.
A few months ago, I was chatting to an 89 year old man. I won't go into details, but he was near death. He knew it. I knew it.
With this particular man, the hilarious thing about his feelings about his illness/impending death was that it would interfere with his routine. It bothered him that the set-up he had carefully laid out all his life was about to be disrupted - not so much death itself but the bothersome illness and the 'caring' that would be foisted upon him against his will. It is not an exaggeration to state that he was more than a little peeved by it all. His attitude was only hilarious because it appeared that others cared more for his life than he did.
But I know different. At least now I do.
Thanks to my understanding of the MGTOW movement and its nuances, I am more open-minded than ever on the variations of life.
This man was a never-married man. He had a few siblings but his favourite of all was his 85 year old little sister who had several children and grandchildren. One of these grandchildren was a young man in his 20s with whom he was particularly close. This young man was his. He was his lad.
Of all his relatives, this was the one he felt the closest to. As he told me about this young guy, his eyes lit up and he was as animated as you could ever see an 89 year old be.
I remember distinctly the moment he told me he was a single man. He expected me to somehow show surprise that he had never married. I know this because he told me so.
It seems he had had a certain response (especially from women) all his life. He was used to it. He expected it so much that when I didn't react in this way, he felt the need to tell me.
He, of course was not to know that I had, um, had a 'special' education in this subject over the last few years, by way of strangers on the internet, lol.
He almost became apologetic. "I love my own company too much", he said to me by way of explanation. An explanation I really didn't need, but he wasn't to know this.
"I never felt close to any woman throughout my life. I was happy without one all these years. I had my garden, I like to read, potter about, you know..."
"But there was always this pressure to find a wife and settle down."
"I was happy on my own, this is what no-one understands. I could have made some woman miserable."
Um, well, who knows...
"I have never felt lonely. I have loved my life. Now I am ill, they will force someone on me to 'care' for me. That is my worst nightmare."
I really understand this sentiment. This really is the introvert's worst nightmare.
"I have my lad. He comes round to see me. He is like a son to me. He is enough".
It is inexplicably important to me that I did not 'judge' this man in his last days...
So, John Lord B3, whilst I would not choose this man's lifetime solitude, I get why he chose his. And I bet he loved every minute of it.
There are people who do not choose a life of solitude - it is foisted upon them against their will, but they adapt to it.
Others have their own reasons for choosing what they choose.
I have thought and thought about the MGTOW movement since the moment I first heard of it. It has fascinated me and I have indulged my unquenchable curiosity ad nauseum.
But it takes someone's moment of impending death for me to see the humanity involved. So when you ask if I have a personal view of MGTOW, this is it.
A dying man's honest description of how he lived it.
I am not sure it can get any personal than that.
I have similar stories of two women who also lived the GTOW life until death. The nuances of their stories differ slightly, but there we are.
In the end, life will be lived. With or without our consent the moment we are born kicking and screaming into an unforgiving world.
The details of said life?
The devil is in the detail, as they say.
And with that, I bid everyone the holiest and happiest Easter ever.
The ultimate MGHOW?