Last Words (that thankfully weren’t)

by Starla J. King on March 19, 2014

pen nib tattoo with IVThe last thing I remember in the operating room was the surgical nurse strapping my arm, wrist up, to a sideboard thingy, seeing my tattoo and asking, “is that a pen??” to which I answered, “Yes it is; I’m a writer.” “Cool!” she said, and the next thing I knew my wife was gently rubbing my arm, telling me I’d made it through.

It wasn’t until hours later that it occurred to me: had I not survived the surgery, “I’m a writer” would have been my last spoken words.

Which explains why one of the final things on my pre-surgery To Do list was “Write new blog post.”

I realized, that day before surgery, that there was a chance my blog posts (and my book) would be my final message to the world.

Sure, chances were I’d come through the surgery just fine — and, most importantly, alive — but it wasn’t guaranteed. There was an actual possibility my writing might become a stand-in for, well, me.

Turns out finality can be a powerful clarifier.

Instead of the usual knot of blog topics jumbled together in my mind, I knew immediately, clearly, that I wanted to leave my version of a love letter [see post here]: a sequence of word mirrors to offer readers a reminder of their own ways and possibilities for receiving and sharing love. Not a goodbye, not a litany of things undone or opportunities missed, but a nudge toward connection, presence, expression… and always always Love.

And I needed to do that through written words, because, after all, I’m a writer.

If you had one final chance to share something with the world, what would you say?

And how would you say it?

Maybe that’s your next blog post. Or book. Or speech. Or prayer. Or email. Or Facebook post. Or tweet. Or text.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

tina burkholder March 20, 2014 at 6:57 am

wow Starla – thank you for sharing these intimate musings. Your words are powerful and moving. And I am so grateful they aren’t your last. My heart trembles to think of losing you.


Starla J. King March 20, 2014 at 9:20 am

Tina, as the sun streams through my kitchen on this first day of spring, I, too, am re-aware of the gift of being alive.

Thank you for the love. And … I look forward to seeing evidence of YOUR message in writing throughout your world.

xo! Starla j


Robin March 20, 2014 at 9:43 am

Beautiful Starla, my sweet hyster-sister. Sadly, and perhaps embarassingly, my last words before my surgery were “How long does it take for the happy juice to kick in?”


Starla J. King March 20, 2014 at 9:53 am

Robin, can you hear me laugh? I think those last words are just as appropriate … leaving a trail of happy behind you? Oh yeah!!


Eileen March 20, 2014 at 9:58 am definitely are a writer! Beautiful words from a beautiful person. I wish I was as eloquent as your are. As I “celebrate” the 2 year anniversary of my hysterectomy and the beginning of my journey…I can’t even remember what my last words were.

I’m so happy you are doing well and send my love to you.


Starla J. King March 20, 2014 at 11:17 am

Eileen, being far enough away from surgery to NOT remember your last words has its own beauty!

Here’s to life and love…
Starla j


Robyn Witter March 20, 2014 at 11:57 am

I don’t remember saying anything prior to my surgery, but then I was only 6 I think, but I have a vivid memory of seeing belly dancers dancing just prior to drifting off. I thought it was odd then, and still do. Never verified their existence, though.


Starla J. King March 20, 2014 at 5:16 pm

Ohmygoodness, BELLY DANCERS? I love that, Robyn. 🙂


Gaye March 21, 2014 at 8:39 am

Wow is right!


24 hour plumber charleston July 17, 2014 at 9:44 pm

I constantly emailed this weblog post page to all my friends, for
the reason that if like to read it after that my friends will too.


ВалокСалават February 13, 2017 at 12:54 am

RE:Last Words (that thankfully weren’t) Валок GregoireBesson Саранск


VirgilJep August 28, 2017 at 9:57 pm

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