Saturday, February 19, 2005

Weekend essay reading: The Anchoress

Just in time for coffee and reflection time, another good piece from The Anchoress.
She covers a lot of territory as usual, but the theme is literally about issues of life and death.

I'd rather have ten people in wheelchairs thinking clearly and giving us living examples of the wisdom to be gained, and the heroism to be found, in embracing their limitations, then a hundred gorgeous beings who open their yaps to deliver vapid, empty pronouncements on whatever trendy thought is popular that week.
When my brother was dying, during those long months, occasionally a well-meaning person would ask me if I didn't think it would be better - more "compassionate" - if we couldn't simply give him "a needle or something" that would end his ordeal a few weeks earlier. All I could do was relate as best I could what a terrible loss it would be to all of us if a single moment of our time with S - and his time with us - was hurried away. When one's time has come, one's time has come, of course...but until that time, we wanted S with us, and he wanted to be with us, too, which is why even the doctors and nurses could stood in wonder at his lingering and life-force.

Some disagreed with me. One friend in particular thought there was something heartless in my "arrogant certainty" that S's suffering (and ours) could have any sort of genuine purpose. "Look at what your poor mother is going through!" She said.

I did. Oh, I did. Even now, remembering what this dear, tireless woman endured at her son's deathbed, I cannot stop the tears.

But ask my mother what she would have preferred and she will tell you - having S, in any condition, is so much better than the world without him, a world she's endured for a month, now, with a pain that seems gargantuan compared to any pain she might have felt before.

And after you finish that, go to the main page , then down two posts to get current with the case of Terri Schiavo. Follow the links there to her previous posts.

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