Alex Roque

Writer By Night

Wandering Wednesday – Cemetery in the Snow


“We cannot hold mortality’s strong hand.” –  From Shakespeare’s King John

This week was off to a rough start with a stark reminder of mortality on Sunday. It was all rather ironic, looking back, in a very morose way. We were watching Amazing Spiderman 2, and halfway through the movie we started to hear commotion behind us. Within a few minutes the whole theater was looking up towards the back, and it was soon obvious that someone was in trouble. People shouted to get the movie turned off, the house lights came on, it was all surreal and terrifying. A man was sick – we didn’t know if it was a heart attack, or a stroke, or seizure? He was too far away. We sat still in our seats until we were asked by the staff to clear the theater, the ambulance were on their way. Whoever he was, I really hope he was okay in the end. All I saw for a brief moment was an older man being cradled by woman I assumed to be his wife – and that just hit home. There they were, watching a movie, and suddenly, so quickly, everything changed. I couldn’t imagine going through that. 

The weird irony was that in the movie, there is a speech being given, which talks exactly about mortality. . .

“I know that we all think we’re immortal, we’re supposed to feel that way, we’re graduating. The future is and should be bright, but, like our brief four years in high school, what makes life valuable is that it doesn’t last forever, what makes it precious is that it ends. I know that now more than ever. And I say it today of all days to remind us that time is luck. So don’t waste it living someone else’s life, make yours count for something. Fight for what matters to you, no matter what. Because even if you fall short, what better way is there to live?”


Then Monday, I found out that the mass that had been tested from my grandfather’s bladder was cancer. He had been given two options: either go through chemo to make sure they got it all, or go in every 3 months for a check. The doctor is confident that they got all of it, but there is always that risk. But my grandpa, being 83 years old, has opted out of chemo. And I get it. He doesn’t want to deal with that. But there is just a part of me that can’t help but be upset that he wants to just leave things to chance, on the hope that any tiny bit of cancer is gone.

Thankfully as of writing this on Tuesday, the idea of bad things happening in threes hasn’t upheld. But it was a rough start to the week, being reminded so much of mortality and how precious and short life is. I hate thinking about it. Really hate it. It stresses me out and brings me to the brink of terrible anxiety if I focus too much on everything it means, even though I know it means I should just embrace the life I have and those around me. Sometimes it’s really hard to come to grips with all that at once, isn’t it? 

Granary Burying Ground in Boston, MA

Granary Burying Ground in Boston, MA


4 thoughts on “Wandering Wednesday – Cemetery in the Snow

  1. Oh wow, how scary at the movie! I really hope that guy is okay.

    Sorry about your grandfather. Fuck cancer, seriously, and our shitty treatments for it. There have to be scientists working toward them and I hope they can come up with something less awful to go through soon. Chemo is just hell, and I don’t blame him but it’s sad that those are the only options.


    • *HUUUUUG* I’m sorry I’m lame and didn’t respond until now, thank you for your thoughts though. It’s tough but in the end, the doctor seemed confident, and I suppose at his age he just would rather not put his body through that on the small chance that something could come back. It’s understandable but also just sad. :(

      Cancer be dumb.

  2. I got goosebumps reading your post. I can’t even imagine something like that… to be enjoying yourself and suddenly having to deal with such a problem… it’s horrifying. And that sucks about your grandfather; I kinda understand why he doesn’t want to go for chemo, and I hope he doesn’t have to deal with any more treatments. :(

    • It was really surreal. To be honest in the first few seconds my immediate thought was that someone had a gun. Which then made me feel terrible for thinking that, but these days sometimes you just don’t know. I wish I knew if that man was okay, I might feel better heh. But then if he wasn’t I suppose I would feel worse. D;

      And ya, I understand where my grandpa is coming from – it’s just hard knowing that there is a chance it could come back and we have no idea and might not catch it in time if it happens quickly within those 3 months. Ugh, cancer.

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