A book titled Waiting for the Last Bus sounds like it is intended for a pivotal time in life, or a time in which we are contemplative of life and death, as it allows the reader to engage with many of the weighty and profoundly difficult questions that the mere existence of life presents. The former Bishop of Edinburgh, who now in his ninth decade in life, is decidedly agnostic, pulls in poetry, prose and his own wonderful rationale and thoughts on the subject, culminating an insightful and provoking read with The Last Bus.
Are we ready and prepared for death? Have we made peace with ourselves and those around us in order for the inevitable to happen and for it to happen with mind at ease and calm?
Richard Holloway has spent a lifetime at the bedsides of the dying, guiding countless men and women towards peaceful deaths. With this book he offers a positive, meditative and profound exploration of the many important lessons we can learn from death: facing up to the limitations of our bodies as they falter, reflecting on our failings, and forgiving ourselves and others. In fact the section of compassion and forgiveness with his theory on extending margins is some of the most affecting writing.
Waiting for The Last Bus is also a stirring plea to reacquaint ourselves with death. With this notion that by confronting and welcoming death we can reflect on the pasts of our lives, but also life itself; and can mean the difference between ordinary sorrow and unbearable regret at the end. It feels like a timely opportunity to put right the wrongs of being young and wreck less, selfish and dismissive, finding resolution before the end may come. Reading perhaps deemed imperative for anyone in the time of crisis and old age.
Affecting, insightful and incorporating the wisdom of the former Bishop, The Last Bus is an opportune invitation to reconsider life’s greatest mystery. Richard Holloway holds your interest in earnest throughout the modest 176 pages. Not only does he this but he undoubtedly gets you to ponder, question and reflect.
Waiting for the Last Bus is available now, published by Canongate