May 25, 2011

What To Expect

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We don’t want to feel pain. For over a century, science and medicine have been devoted to the reduction of it. This movement can be tracked in the history of child birth practices, and a similar movement, bringing consciousness to the process of dying, is in its infancy. First a look at how we come in.

In 1900, 90% of birth was at home. Fifty years later, 90% of births were in a hospital under general anesthesia. As a result, Read the rest of this entry »

May 10, 2011

I Told You So

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A few weeks ago, our daughter completed a poetry project at her Middle School, and emailed one to me. She thought I might be able to use it.

The Feeling of Death
It’s the feeling of when you almost fall down the stairs,
The cause is death pulling your soul to go,
Right back where it came from,
It’s the feeling of your first dive,
Everything must be perfect,
Or death points his finger and laughs at you,
It’s the feeling of your first time driving a car,
One wrong move,
And death just says…
I told you so.

Adolescent fears of tripping up, being imperfect and humiliated are reflected in her vision of death. Do our fears about death mirror our fears in life? My life is rushed, my to do lists mount, my work overwhelms. There seems to be no end to it all. And my fear is that the end to it all will come all too soon. Or as Ms. Dickinson wrote:

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me

Do the challenges of your daily left somehow reflect your feelings about mortality?

May 4, 2011

Kiss of Death

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Last Friday morning my son woke up and watched the wedding. It was his 9th birthday, and although he has no real interest in royalty, (Derek Jeter aside) he felt it gave his birthday some impact. Walking to school his eyes sparkled with anticipation of a special day.

Three days later, on Monday morning my son woke up and watched the news of Bin Laden’s death.

We had not discussed much about 9/11 with him. At the time he was in utero. But now Read the rest of this entry »