And the road goes on forever...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

On Death

It seems to me the end of our lives is never pleasant, however it happens. I am working with so many seniors now who have been through so much agony with the death of a spouse. They carry it years later on their backs like a parasite which sucks the good times from their faces. So many seem to go on thenceforth without purpose, much like my mother is still doing. Their health fails; they regale their current state of affairs; there are no longer any daily interests of note save for the passing TV shows flickering on the screen in the background as they relate their stories.

Of course, in case you wonder, I am doing a take-away from all this. The moral of the story is that one does not want to live forever; indeed, one does not want to live for a long time even. Truly—I suspect, one does not really wish to even outlive one’s good health. At least I don’t. I look around at scattered pill boxes which contain sometimes up to 20 pills a day which these seniors take to stay alive. They all complain of dizziness and how they hate it. Where is the boundary between a satisfying, engaged, fulfilled life—and what I am seeing with so many who suffer from ailments beyond comprehension to deal with, as they cling to life like a Remora on a shark. What is the purpose and what keeps them going?

I haven’t found out the secret as yet. Perhaps one will tell me someday. Who is it that coined the phrase “Hope springs eternal in the human heart?” Hope. Such a fragile word.