Monday, October 26, 2009

What we don't know might just kill us.

This may not be popular (amongst whom - only a few friends read this, and I don't really think they would care) in general society, but I think the flu is a good thing. I think death is a good thing. I think it's GREAT to be alive, to live, to share, to make love and jump off waterfalls and relax in a hammock. I think it's amazing to birth babies and raise puppies and eat chocolate. I love that we get to do all this in a country where I can choose whether or not to vaccinate myself and my children (in conference w/my amazing husband, who just *might* be reading this). I love how much information there is out there, how many things people can do to make this a better world to be a part of, and how we can share or withdraw ourselves as our moods sway. But I also think it's ok to go back to being part of that BIGGER something, that spiritual only realm that some call god and others energy and even others call Nirvana. I am not afraid of death, and all the people I know who have died (most of whom were old) were not afraid to die. They, and I, are/am afraid of SUFFERING. Medicine was once the realm solely (no pun intended) of retroactive care - I hurt, how can I fix this. Dentistry, surgery, oncology, even mental health are all predominantly in the realm of retroactive health care. GP's are one of the lone surviving groups who can and do care for people proactively, but they are the dying breed. So much of allopatric medicine is focused on specialized (retroactive) care, that the GP can't earn much in comparison. It's the garbage man (I mean sanitation engineer) of the medical establishment - that if you can't cut neurosurgery or handle the emotional weight of oncology, oh go be a GP. Sad sad sad. Dying now means not having to pay bills, take pills, get cleaned up by some nursing staff, be a burden to your family, get Alzheimers, or wonder whether you will fall on this trip to the bathroom, or the next. It's sometimes a blessing when you are in chronic pain and your option is to be chronically doped. It can bring peace to your loved ones and offer solace to those in constant mental pain. Fear of this unknown place, death, is not real, not tangible, but frightening in that something is there, in the dark, a monster waiting for me, kind of way. Will it hurt? Will I like it after I get there? Will I be alone? If we don't know, we don't know. That doesn't make it a bad place. Losing people (me, my children, my husband and parents and siblings included) is ALWAYS sad and hard, but it's not always bad. Selective use of that awful badness of death for children, for those who are murdered by terrorists or crazy people, for those who would never have chosen that outcome, feels appropriate to me, but let's let people die who are done with this place. It's not the only place, in all likelihood, we just don't know.

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