Brian’s Reflection: Saturday, May 17, 2008
A dying man needs to die, as a sleepy man needs to sleep,
and there comes a time when it is wrong, as well as useless,
- Stewart Alsop, American journalist, born on this day, 1914
I called a former parishioner today. Her husband died, in his 80’s. He’d been in a home for a few years. Recently, and rapidly, his Alzheimer’s had accelerated, he had a heart attack, and he got pneumonia. He was moved to ICU, then to a new facility, because his wife had an intuitive sense that the former place wasn’t “right”. His quality of life was very very poor. He was put into palliative care - and he died peacefully a couple of weeks later.
I admire people like Ken’s wife. And Ken. It’s about quality, not “quantity”. And any person of Faith, or whatever religion, should know that. We need to “walk the walk” as people of “faith”. Fear has to be rejected, as Jesus “commanded” us - “Fear Not!”. If we cling to quantity of years, we can be absolutely sure that we will hesitate to Live Fully in this earthly life. We become walking corpses – beautified by facelifts, plastic surgery, and cosmetics – and avoiding all the risk and daring that make Life what it can be. And all the Pleasure, which God created and in which God delights.
Culturally, in the World, we are at this point, though we are arriving at it at different stages depending on where we live. So it will be awhile, alas. Certain theories, certain religions, certain tribalisms, certain small-mindednesses, certain prejudices, certain ignorances, certain bloody-mindednesses, certain fears must simply vanish. How long will it take before we all see that our rampant myopia is just killing us all, diminishing our individual and corporate humanity???
We are at a time in History where many things must die. It is wrong, and useless, to resist. (Pardon my sounding like the Borg!)
As Jesus said, “She who gives up her Life will find it.”