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Thursday, 9 June 2011

SubVersion Stop 128: Dying Matters

SV's Jonathan posted a cool discussion on SC recently highlighting the "Dying Matters" campaign. According to the topic, "If these findings indicate that people tend to grow more reconciled to the inevitable, others suggest lingering anxieties about the manner of one's final departure, and inhibition about discussing death." Never mind the figures, what about the here and now? All of us, it shouldn't need to be said, are in a stage of death, whether it's short-term incurable, or long-term ("...pain is pretty dreadful", Jon notes). What we are figuratively doing: fantasising about heightened conscience and resistance to the unknown side; the fact that conspiracies and ill thought out indirectness still occurs, put you closer to clocking off sooner than you intended, as a transistory pitfall, insinuated hemispherically by stress on the limbic system.

One of my favourite writers, Clarissa Pinkola Estes - see SubVersion's Fanu interview for snippets of re-processed text - penned in her superb "Women Who Run With The Wolves", that secrets of any kind affect the psyche identically. "Here is one example. One woman, whose husband forty years earlier had committed suicide three months after they were married, was urged by his family to not only hide the evidence of his major depressive illness but also her deep emotional grief and anger from that time. As a result, she developed a 'dead zone' regarding his anguish, her anguish, as well as her rage at the cultural stigma attached to the entire event." In effect, she had killed part of herself off before she, if remaining alive today, had yet moved on to afterlife.

And what of euthinasia these days: political correctness sidelined, diplomacy tablet swallowed - do we place too much emphasis on selfish behaviour - in attempting to end someone elses life? If it were me and I wanted to die, there'd be three important factors, regardless of timezone, to take into account. 1) Quality of life. 2) Quality of life. 3) Patience. Two ways, one problem. This situation leads on from causing torture to the mentally ill; those deprived of their bread and butter expression and forced to live in emotional poverty, down to mistreatment, cold-heartedness and ridiculed societal laws, perpetuates the "dead zone" Clarissa speaks of. Otherwise, vigilance to avoid snapping the straw is pivotal. "We don't manipulate people we love, we just let them know honestly how we feel and what's important to us. Manipulating people is patronizing and controlling and altogether unacceptable" said Richard Templar in his The Rules Of Love collation piece.

There are several families that have been devastated by death, while individuals weep in sorrow in silence in the existing universe. Parallels are dormant here: you can't touch time where survival is concerned, but you can work with it. "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark," renowned theorist Steven Hawking added. It helps that courageous souls like Hawking have been through such an ordeal - in his case, with Motor Neurone Disease - to tell us of a hardened and fearless view. And it also puts in perspective for collective sanity that there is light waiting, as long as nobility stays intact.

Dying Matters

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