being well Area

being well during the 2020 pandemic

gary e. davis
May 2020
  April 2020

Let there be gratitude of mindfulness—thinking as thanking.

May 2020

Days go by, still.

“Like almost all my peers,” Mary Pipher writes, “I want to die young as late as possible. I don’t want to live beyond my energy level.” She wants healthy aging, wanted that, and, I presume, she has sought that for decades past.
I have.

“I don’t want to suffer dementia or lie helpless in a hospital. I want to die while I still believe that others love me and that I am useful.”

I favor palliative care and gentle, hospice-based euthanasia when I have to otherwise be kept alive helpless. So, I would recommend it as public health policy, given validly prepared and notarized Advance Directive documents.

Meanwhile, I’m thankful, in a spirit kindred to Ms. Pipher’s: “Facing death offers us an opportunity to work with everything we have within us and everything we know about the world. If we have been resilient most of our lives, most likely we will cope well with our own dying. It is frightening, of course, but it is our last chance to be a role model, even a hero.”

In the meantime, we grieve over loss of others because deep attachment is integral to being human, yet also in giving intimate thankfulness for time we’ve had before overwhelming loss.

Mary recalls: “A therapist who lost her young, cello-playing husband told me she feels his presence and knows they are still deeply connected in spirit. She finds that many people are afraid to die because they have no language for the numinous; however, she is certain that neither life nor relationships end with death....Jean Nordhaus wrote, ‘The dead are all around us / feathering the air with their wings’.”

We go on living as best we can because the departed “want” that. “There is laughter in hell,” says a therapist who specializes in grieving. “It is still OK to celebrate in the middle of grief.”

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  Be fair. © 2020, gary e. davis