Monday, February 18, 2008


I stood today at the foot of the hospital bed consoling the three relatives as life supports were being pulled. How many times have I walked those sanitized corridors to join in the tender choruses of meaningful tears? How heartbreaking is a real broken heart? How much more pain can mankind take?

To keep my own emotions in check, I occasionally walked away from the bedside to the window from which I stared out in no specific direction. A fussy world races right on by. Car horns are honking, street lights systematically blinkety-blink, and patrons file into their favorite stores as if on the main mission. “Don’t you people know there’s a man dying in here and a family crushed?” I say quietly to myself realizing there no need for such criticism. How could they realize it? They are busy being normal.

But, not all is negative on this sunny afternoon. Once again I cannot help but note how pending death has advantageously mellowed all moods. Kindnesses are the only order of the moment. Compassion holds hands with Consideration as no one presses to be in the front of the line. Not once were the Stock Market or the Emmy’s discussed. There was little chance anyone cared if Roger Clemens was misremembered against. A loved one was gasping for his last 100 breaths….99…..98…..

Would it be all right if I pointed out to you while you are not in such a setting that your beefs and gripes are probably insincere? Ah, they are simply big talkers who don’t really mean what they’ve steadily conveyed. Could it be we have better ways to spend our brief time on earth? Yes, it would be all right to make such a note. Love the people who love you. And, as did Jesus, love the people who seem to hate you. They don’t mean it. Being in the presence of death seems to rearrange feelings, moods, and emotions…..all for the better.


Terry said...

Wow, Terry. That was one of the most thoughtful and touching posts I have read on any blog in a long time. Thanks for putting things into perspective.
Terry L.

Greg said...

Thirty years and who knows how many funerals and now six years as a funeral director, let me be the first to thank you for this post.

Greg said...

Oops! Make that the "second" to thank you for this post.