Monday, August 20, 2007

Q: Why did she die so young?

I got a lot of great questions in over the last two weeks, I'm just going to take them one at a time. These are just my thoughts—I hope others will also weigh in.

From a new blog reader:

I have just discovered your website, and I'm glad that I did. I have so many questions and issues for you to resolve for me. But here are some baffling ones first.

There used to live a certain [practitioner] who I happened to meet personally, and she resolved some health problems for me and my loved ones. Then, I became very busy and also did not have the need for her. Just recently, I wanted to inquire about her, and to my greatest shock, I learned that she had passed away three years ago. She was not that old, just about 69 yrs old. I could not understand why such a woman that I believe had such wisdom (I might be mistaking) died so early.

Thanks for inquiring! I've heard this or a form of it a lot over the years. There seems to be a general assumption that if one is sufficiently spiritual, one's human life will be longer. Also, the increase in life expectancies in recent years has led people to think more time on this planet is a worthy goal in and of itself.

As a balance, I'd like to present this article from CNN that I stumbled on when thinking about this question.

After a discussion of extreme measures being taken to extend life as long as possible, the article concludes:

"In the U.S., I don't think we do death very well," said Dr Christina Puchalski of George Washington Hospital. "When people are faced with death, there is a big push on survivorship, to help people stay alive as long as they can. I don't think that's bad, but quality of life has to come into play."

Hospitals have been urging people for years to sign advance directives setting out what treatment they do or don't want near the end of life, but only about 15 percent have done so.

"Most Americans don't really believe they're going to die," [Washington Hospital Center medical director John] Lynch said. "This is where so many of the problems start."

As a person who lives quite outside of the medical world, I wonder sometimes what life would be like if I were dependent on medicine. Many individuals live out their lives tied quite firmly to medical procedures and processes. Others choose not to embark on this kind of dependence, and they live a very different kind of life. Perhaps this is another way to measure the success of a life—how it is lived, rather than merely in calendar years.

So what's my answer to the inquiry? The timing for when our human bodies give out and we move along to the next experience is no reflection of our spirituality. The point is not to stay here indefinitely. What's more important to me is how we lived while we were here.


Your ideas and inspiration are welcome! Please comment below or Contact Laura.
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3 Comments:

At 8/20/2007 01:20:00 PM, Anonymous Dennis R. said...

I do not have a problem leaving this mortal dream, but I do not want to do it on error's terms.

If it is time, why can we just make the transition without being riddle with disease?

One of my favorite Bible characters is Enoch. He walked with God and was translated without disease. I feel that is our goal.

 
At 8/20/2007 03:19:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I liked Dennis' comment; and I like the word "translated," which I think may have to do with a clearer form of understanding – like when a language is translated for us and we have some new understanding of what formerly was confusing sounds.

Here's a verse from Isaiah I ran across long ago that may be appropriate to include as a comment:

Isaiah 57:1-2 (New Living Translation)
1 Good people pass away; the godly often die before their time.
But no one seems to care or wonder why.
No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come.
2 For those who follow godly paths
will rest in peace when they die.

 
At 8/21/2007 02:20:00 AM, Anonymous Robert SF said...

Good topic.
Several years ago I had a delightful conversation with a woman in her late 80's who was one of those folks everyone is just drawn to because she loved everyone. She made you feel special. The next day at 5:30 AM she was found dead in her bed. Since she lived in a retirement community, the residents spoke of her departure with great admiration. No lingering, no suffering. An exit we all wish for ourselves. A few years later I discovered she was a Christian Scientist and that was in no way a small incentive for me to look into Christian Science. Several months ago I discovered Mindy Jostyn's "In His Eyes" on a TMCYouth podcast and was dismayed to find this woman died way too young. But listening to her 2 albums I got from the reading room I can see how she fulfilled an extraordinary mission of creating beautiful, masterful music. When I listen to her music it is like God is singing to me. It is God singing to me! How long does one need to be in a body to accomplish that? How long did Jesus need to be on earth to forever change the world? Hmmmmmm.
Robert

 

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