Saturday, January 22, 2011

Reading the Obituaries...

I am old enough now, I am one of those people who read the Obituaries!  They are the most sad when children die.  I have found friends and neighbors there and often, far too often fellow cancer people, people who sat in the chair right next to me during chemo.  It always irritates me when it is mentioned they died
"from complications of cancer".  I know it was the cure that killed them; they died from the treatment.  It is a voodoo cure at best, like walking across hot coals to the very edge of hell.  If you survive it you are bruised and battered, scarred and crippled, shaken and stirred.  It is an odds game, higher math!  There is no reason why one would survive and one would die.  It just happens.
      I don't really think an attitude will save you.  I am a positive kind of guy and can see great value to almost everything but I don't think my attitude saved me.  It made it easier and I always looked for the funny side of it, just because there is a funny side to everything and I was pretty desperate to find it.
    There is a lot more to the story than obituaries will ever tell you.  It would take a whole book, maybe volumes to tell of this life and death struggle and I am always hunting for the honesty in it.  Was it a battle, like with sharks, that Hemingway could have described?  Was it the good fight?
    We will all get our fifteen minutes of fame, maybe just a paragraph in a newspaper, but I really want to hear all of the story.  The successes and maybe especially the failures, the junctions in the road, I am curious why they turned right or left, who they touched and who touched them along the way.
    It is hard to say goodbye and we never really do.  It might be easier if you realize that "goodbye" isn't a farewell but a shortened version of the original:  "God be with you."
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  1. Thanks Jerry, My girlfriend has a saying "Nobody gets out of this world alive". Just think about it!!! Not one of us!!
    We all have to go that way, no matter who we are, what we've been, or how we lived our lives. From the kindest Mother Theresa to the most awful serial killer each of us have that common thread in the very end. When I was very young, I did think and fear death, I sometimes would get this idea in my head that OMG! it has too happen, theres no getting out of it. I would be so frightened really. I talked about it with my grandmother and asked her if she was afraid to die. . She told me that as you get older you fear it less and less, that God helps take that fear away,you sort of mellow and it becomes less and less sharp in your brain, and she was right, I no longer get that feeling in the pit of my stomach when I think about it.
    There is always 'that story' .. if you sit next to someone that's very old, what your seeing is an old man/woman and then come to find out .. oh, he was a railroad engineer, he or she was president of a thriving company, traveled all over, you realize he was young, had a real life, not just a gray haired old person as you see. In the end we still all share that common last stop..
    Every single one of us.

  2. I feel young, and yet many of the people I knew when I was sixteen are dead now. Nine times out of ten, it was motor accidents.

    For those of us who live till middle age and beyond, it becomes cancer that kills most often. I hope and pray that kinder, more certain cures can be found!

  3. I have a somewhat friend who survived cancer and the chemo cure, and after much struggle is doing really well attitude may not be the cure, but you never know how life is going to end for you until you take that last breath. She had to be a fighter to get herself over the cure and was on a lot of vitamins, antioxidents, etc. to build her body back up. It's like with chemo therapy they destroy you to destroy the disease. I am just not one of those people who will ever read obituaries. Life around me reminds me enough that in the end death wins over, but loved ones are always in my heart forever. And you're right about that short little story in the paper that never really tells anything about a person, except who their family is. Dad's obituary was simple, but his life was complicated with many turns in the road, and dreams that weren't always fulfilled. Lives are extremely complicated from birth to death and we never really get to know these people truely, unless we find that magic in a close friendship. There are so many stories that we might never put in print, but we will confide with in a true friend.