Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Death is But a Part of Life

When I first began writing a blog, I thought every topic in the blog had to be upbeat. After all, are we going to read something that makes us sad? Today as I was looking out the window at the snow I was wondering what to write and realized it is okay to write when you are a bit sad.

This week a very fine and classy woman, Jane, I knew died of cancer. Elizabeth Edwards died yesterday. Young men and women in uniform are dying for our country and know the risks they are taking may very well cost them their lives. The list could be added to by the deaths by cancer; old age; accidents; murder etc. People are dying as I write and you read. (Not a brilliant observation is it?)

The reality we are all dying the moment we are born. Death is inevitable.

In high school, my English Literature teacher posed a question to the class. She asked, "What if some of us were to die and others were to live forever?" And then she noted, "Since we are all going to die, death has a way to equalize all of us as human beings." Her comments still haunt and intrigue me to this day.

Everyone has their own concept of death and what to expect when they are dead. I heard a quote attributed to Ben Franklin and have not been to locate the quote again. But Ben Franklin, or whoever,  noted that death could be a fine sleep or if eternity does exist an opportunity to meet family and friends and notables in the hereafter.

Elizabeth Edwards and my friend Jane, both women knew they were dying and that is a far more mysterious concept for me to handle. ---The waiting and acceptance for one’s death to occur.

Most of us have heard about the five stages of acceptance of death. The generally accepted stages,  and of course not everyone goes through all the stages or has the opportunity to go through them all are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Though we could discuss all of the stages, acceptance is a difficult one for me personally to swallow,   Yet, when we are in the last stages of death our  body is tired and we are ready to move on.

Barbara Gould is an on-line Columnist and author of "Weird Old Woman Down The Road, and Other Minor Observations," wrote in her blog:

Hospice defines acceptance...
Acceptance is NOT doing nothing, defeat, resignation or submission.
Acceptance IS coming to terms with reality. It is accepting that the world will still go on without you. Death is after all, just a part of LIFE.

The last line is somewhat comforting.

Barbara Gould has other poetry, short stories and articles on aging available. You may contact her at Or visit her at The Senior Courier or

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