A friend once told me the story once of an elderly family member. He was 98 years old, and tho frail, was living at home independently, as healthy as one can expect to be at that age. Unfortunately, he fell and broke his hip. He underwent surgery, and rehab, and was set to be discharged back home when he had a massive PE and died.
Of course, she was saddened, as anyone would have been. But it was her comment, "It's just not fair" that caught my ear.
Obviously, I didn't argue with her. But I can think of little that is more fair than living to a ripe old age independently, healthy, and dying quickly and likely fairly painlessly. We're obviously all going to go, and it sounded like a pretty good ending to me.
I think there is a difference in outlook between people who are exposed to death and disease often, and people who aren't. If you spend your working hours talking to young people with chronic disease, or watching 45 year olds roll in to the ER in asystole, or even just follow a number of geriatric patients as they experience the illness that takes their lives, you take your health less for granted.
"It's not fair" used to pop into my head when I would see a 38 year old women with breast cancer, or hear about a 50 year old who dropped dead of a heart attack.
But when you have a three year old with a metastatic brain tumor, "fair" takes on a whole new perspective. When you see teenagers walking the halls bald, in a mask, with their IV pole and chemo hanging on it, your life starts to look a lot more fair. When you hear the child in the room next door vomiting all night, the fact that your back hurts from sleeping on a crappy fold-out hospital couch fades.
Let us all be more thankful for our health, and less demanding on life to be "fair".