Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Three Deaths This Past Year...

First a friend of mine, unexpectedly but from a known cause.
Second, someone from the past, from a long-term debilitative disease.
And now, someone with a cancer that spread too far to be fought.

A thought that comes into my mind:

Is the brain the last thing needed to hold onto life? Does being bright indeed hurry death when it appears near?

I'm sure you've heard about the apocryphal story about the Russian trapped inside a freezer car for the night, writing letters to mark the hours before he died. When he was found in the morning, he body was found stiff -- and the freezer care was 55 degrees farenheight, slightly WARMER than the surrounding air. Turned out the motor was broken and the comrade inside was warming things up, only he thought he was freezing to death so he did.

Now, consider this contrast:
  • Terry Schivo, with a shrunken brain, probably blind and unable to recover from what happened, lives fifteen years with the only addendum being a feeding tube.
  • The lady with cancer goes through one bout of chemo, decides to accept her death, AND DIES THE NEXT DAY!
Maybe the religious radical right understands something: Don't Think, Just Live and you'll live a full life, loaded with love and heart. Think too much, and you'll kill yourself before you can even raise your hand to do the actual deed.

A bit much, I admit, and adding in the Terri Schivo angle unhinges things a bit more. However, I do remember reading this person's entries in a journal that she was already ready to die and wanted it to be peaceful.

Everyone else figured she had six months to a year before she died. Even I, ever the pessimist, figured two weeks to two months (with the latter more likely). Who would have thought that two DAYS would have been wildly optimistic?

And outside of the idea of an assisted suicide (always possible but not likely, especially since she was still in the hospital), I can't help but think that she died because she was ready for it and probably set her mind to it. In short, she created her own death.

New Age bullshit? Maybe, but then our minds have been shown to control our bodies even down to a molecular level. So maybe we're not talking bullshit, but truth here.

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