“It’s knowing that this can’t go on forever.
Likely one of us will have to spend some days alone.
Maybe we’ll get forty years together,
but one day I’ll be gone or one day you’ll be gone.”
This post wasn’t supposed to be about this song. Up until yesterday, I’d been obsessively listening to another track from Jason Isbell’s incredible new album, The Nashville Sound. But then I got news, not the good sort, that knocked the breath from me and left me stunned. There’s no need to worry, friends – the news didn’t directly affect me or any of my loved ones – but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t deeply shocking or upsetting. I spent the rest of the day trying to come to grips with this news and its implications…and failing. And I found myself turning repeatedly to this song.
Is this what growing older is supposed to be like? A near-constant struggle to reconcile your mortality? Of tucking the knowledge away at the back of your mind and ignoring it so that you can carry on with a normal existence, but being forced to face it more and more often? Of panicking when you receive those stark, unforgiving reminders that the clock is indeed still ticking, even though you might have muted the sound of it? Of trying to use those reminders as impetus? Of hoping you did the best you could in the time you had? Of hoping that you loved the best you could in the time you had?
Write that story, friends. Sing that song. Tell that person you love them. Whatever it is you want to do, just do. Because we aren’t guaranteed any time at all.