Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Excited to death

Is this a sad story or a happy one? John Parsons, a 71 year old retired engineer from Barry in South Wales had dreamed of having a motorbike for years - but his wife Myra wouldn't let him.

After her death from cancer last summer, he finally bought the bike and was really excited about riding it.

But the day after it was delivered, going out on his first ride, he had a heart attack, fell into the path of an oncoming Range Rover and died. The excitement was too much for his heart.

You could say it's a sad story because he died prematurely from an unlucky accident. But there again it's a happy story because he'd had a good life and died fulfilling a dream. I go for the latter.

And before you ask, I've never wanted a motorbike so Jenny has nothing to fear.

Picture: John and Myra Parsons


  1. It makes him appear adventuresome. How many guys his age get on a motorbike?
    Good for him for trying to live a little.
    Too bad it didn't work out but it's better than rotting in front of the tv like so many other retirees.

  2. Hello Nick:
    I had to deliver a eulogy at a funeral of a dear friend about 4 years ago.
    Brain aneurism.
    She had always dreamed of being a dancer and in her early fifties turned her back on a successful business career and threw herself into dancing. She was poor but ecstatic. And met a wonderful man who had done exactly the same thing.
    She died in his arms with her dream fulfilled.
    Can anyone ask for anything better.
    I say YAY John Parsons. The heart attack would have happened anyway, it happened while he was doing something he loved. YAY again! We should all be so lucky.

  3. Medbh - absolutely, far better than rotting in front of the TV. Or for that matter going gradually senile over the next 20 years.

    www - great to hear of your dancing friend who also fulfilled a dream. How many people are there with a dream they've never dared go after?

  4. I think that once he's dead either he knows nothing more about anything, in which case it doesn't matter to him how or when he died because he's dead, or he's in a happier or unhappier place in either case he's unlikely to care!
    It's sad that our lives are so strongly conditioned by 'something', the society we're born into or our family. I'm like that, and I'd love to be a free spirit wandering my planet saying hello to everyone and trying new things all the time. Just trusting that as I'm going to die anyway, what does it matter about the ups and downs of my life, experience is the key. But part of me is governed by the opinion that my life has a weight and a value and I need to choose a set of rails on which to run it, or be careful with it - for what?!

  5. I think you can do both - you need a set of rails to travel on, to give you some security, but you need to try out all the branch lines as well for a bit of excitement and adventure.