Thoughts near the end of a life

by Datechguy | December 2nd, 2012

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Thoughts near the end of a life

They, of course, do tend to regard death as the prime evil and sur­vival as the great­est good. But that is because we have taught them to do so. Do not let us be infected by our own pro­pa­ganda. I know it seems strange that your chief aim at the moment should be the very same thing for which the patient’s lover and his mother are pray­ing — namely his bod­ily safety. But so it is; you should be guard­ing him like the apple of your eye. If he dies now, you lose him.

The Screw­tape Let­ters #28

Before any­thing else let me thank all of you who have wished my mother well and offered prayers on her behalf. It is much appre­ci­ated and prayers in he deposit of faith are never wasted.

If one looks in terms of tem­po­ral life things are not look­ing promis­ing. Other than the fall, bleed­ing on the brain,Leukemia and pos­si­ble Pneu­mo­nia my mother is doing terrible.

I would not be sur­prised for her to die in the Hos­pi­tal, how­ever I would not be sur­prised to see her come home and live to see my son Grad­u­ate from col­lege next year, nor would I be sur­prised to see her live another four years or more beyond her cur­rent 88 years.

But no mat­ter the out­come the ques­tion comes down to a sim­ple fact, sooner or later (most likely sooner) my mother is going to die, as am I, as is my wife, our kids and is every­one who will ever read this post.

Peo­ple spend a lot of time pre­tend­ing this will not hap­pen, but it’s a sit­u­a­tion that has to be dealt with.

Near the end of a life is a test for the per­son at the end of it. They must deal with final days and weeks with­out cry­ing out at the “unfair­ness” of a loss of mobil­ity, and abil­ity and the temp­ta­tion to give away the gift God has given them.

But the real test in may ways is for those who live. The will­ing­ness to care, to give time, to help com­fort those near their end who are not in a posi­tion to ever give a favor back is dif­fi­cult. To peo­ple who have been taught that their time is their own, the con­cept of sim­ply sit­ting in a Hos­pi­tal room for a few hours to give com­pany to one who is alone is not a reward­ing activity.

And for the daugh­ter with chil­dren, grand­chil­dren and wor­ries of her own, the hours of actual care-​giving are full of effort, par­tic­u­larly when the recip­i­ent is not respon­sive or even worse adversarial.

And all the time there are the pres­sures of the Doc­tors and of soci­ety to “let peo­ple go” for the sake of a false sense of “dig­nity” or to ship some­one to a nurs­ing home to be for­got­ten until the occa­sional holiday.

This is one of the rea­sons why Chris­tian­ity must by neces­sity be stopped if the sec­u­lar cul­ture of death is to suc­ceed. The Chris­t­ian imper­a­tive of intrin­sic value of all lives turns the pop­u­lar ver­dict of soci­ety into a test of moral char­ac­ter for the liv­ing as surely as the end of the live is the begin­ning of the eter­nal trip that the wise man pre­pares for and the fool­ish ignores and denies at their peril.

I must con­fess I didn’t expect to be deal­ing with this so quickly after the defeat of ques­tion 2, I ask Gods help and your prayers to put prop­erly into prac­tice the argu­ments I have made.

Update: Via Glenn Alt­house asks about the plung­ing birthrate in the US. This deeply Catholic Woman fac­ing death has given you the answer in the form of 5 chil­dren, 14 grand­chil­dren and 15 great grand­chil­dren ( and my boys haven’t even got­ten started yet).

They, of course, do tend to regard death as the prime evil and survival as the greatest good. But that is because we have taught them to do so. Do not let us be infected by our own propaganda. I know it seems strange that your chief aim at the moment should be the very same thing for which the patient’s lover and his mother are praying—namely his bodily safety. But so it is; you should be guarding him like the apple of your eye. If he dies now, you lose him.

The Screwtape Letters #28

Before anything else let me thank all of you who have wished my mother well and offered prayers on her behalf. It is much appreciated and prayers in he deposit of faith are never wasted.

If one looks in terms of temporal life things are not looking promising. Other than the fall, bleeding on the brain,Leukemia and possible Pneumonia my mother is doing terrible.

I would not be surprised for her to die in the Hospital, however I would not be surprised to see her come home and live to see my son Graduate from college next year, nor would I be surprised to see her live another four years or more beyond her current 88 years.

But no matter the outcome the question comes down to a simple fact, sooner or later (most likely sooner) my mother is going to die, as am I, as is my wife, our kids and is everyone who will ever read this post.

People spend a lot of time pretending this will not happen, but it’s a situation that has to be dealt with.

Near the end of a life is a test for the person at the end of it. They must deal with final days and weeks without crying out at the “unfairness” of a loss of mobility, and ability and the temptation to give away the gift God has given them.

But the real test in may ways is for those who live. The willingness to care, to give time, to help comfort those near their end who are not in a position to ever give a favor back is difficult. To people who have been taught that their time is their own, the concept of simply sitting in a Hospital room for a few hours to give company to one who is alone is not a rewarding activity.

And for the daughter with children, grandchildren and worries of her own, the hours of actual care-giving are full of effort, particularly when the recipient is not responsive or even worse adversarial.

And all the time there are the pressures of the Doctors and of society to “let people go” for the sake of a false sense of “dignity” or to ship someone to a nursing home to be forgotten until the occasional holiday.

This is one of the reasons why Christianity must by necessity be stopped if the secular culture of death is to succeed. The Christian imperative of intrinsic value of all lives turns the popular verdict of society into a test of moral character for the living as surely as the end of the live is the beginning of the eternal trip that the wise man prepares for and the foolish ignores and denies at their peril.

I must confess I didn’t expect to be dealing with this so quickly after the defeat of question 2, I ask Gods help and your prayers to put properly into practice the arguments I have made.

Update: Via Glenn Althouse asks about the plunging birthrate in the US. This deeply Catholic Woman facing death has given you the answer in the form of 5 children, 14 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren ( and my boys haven’t even gotten started yet).

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