Charlie found a golden ticket in a chocolate bar, and he and his grandfather leapt with joy. It was a spectacular occasion not only for Charlie, but for the entire family. Recently one of my mother’s closest and most amazing friends noted that we all have a golden ticket. She was not referring to Charlie’s delightful surprise. Instead she was referring to that moment in life when we come to an end. When we cash the ticket in and go to the other side. Some of us know what we get for that ticket and for others it’s a surprise. There are a group of people who have no interest in waiting, and their ticket is fraught with fear, pain, and anguish. Rather than wait for it to be handed to them they take it upon themselves to get to the front of the line and the end of life as they know it. We all have the ticket after all – no one gets around it.
I have been thinking a lot lately about this golden ticket. Is it better to know about the ticket in advance – to know what comes with the ticket? Or is it better to have it given to you gently underneath your pillow in the middle of the night or as you are walking down the beach gazing into the sunset on last time…? I think if it is given to you in advance it is like being offered a special ticket to a “prescreening” if you will to part of your life. You are one of the few who gets to take a step back and see how you want things to be. You can truly shape the rest of the future and invite anyone else to the main event. The ending, while never considered terribly happy, is more on your terms and not someone else’s. I do not think it will be as sweet as the ticket Charlie and his grandfather found, however the adventure will still be there. As will the family and the support that Charlie and his grandfather provided each other. The Golden Ticket. We all have one. Some of us know in advance. Make the most of your pre-screening if you are fortunate enough to see it.