Posted in Grindstone, Uncategorized, Writing

On Being Read: A Dying Person’s Gift of Love

Your resident blatherer has received a very nice comment from Bill. I am wowed by the comment. “Excellent post,” he says.  Thanks to my post about Mardi Gras, he thought about something in a way he hasn’t thought about it before. This is very encouraging for me–like getting an “A” in blogging. (The old paradigms just don’t go away, do they?)

WordPress kindly gives me the option of receiving an e-mail if someone posts a comment on my blog.  When I received the e-mail, I didn’t recognized his blog address right off the bat–I’ve only just started reading his blog thanks to a referral from my home grrl at Eye Level Pasadena.

So I click on the link to see who Bill is.

Holy moly guacamole–Bill is the author of The Dying Man’s Daily Journal. Bill took the time to (1) Read my blog, and (2) Post a comment!

I think Bill’s blog is awesome. We don’t talk about death in our culture…we don’t talk about the process, the fact that it is going to happen to all of us. We don’t talk about what a good death would be vs what a not-so-good death would be.

To borrow from what my priest says, a good death would be one in which you got to say good-bye to people. The people around you would have a chance to get used to the idea of life without you around. You’d even be able to tell jokes about it (insert good family-oriented death joke here). I love Bill’s blog, because it is the chronicle of a good death.

By contrast, a ‘bad’ death is sudden. Car accident, plane crash, sudden heart attack while jogging. No one has a chance to prepare, to say good-bye, to prepare for the inevitable, yet unexpected, event.

We all know that we are all going to die, but it isn’t in our human nature to keep that at the forefront of our every thought. And it wouldn’t necessarily be prudent to think that way, either. Yes, I might die the next time I get behind the wheel of a car. But am I going to write farewell letter to my loved ones instead of doing the dishes before I leave? No. I need to do the dishes.

And maybe I need a file entitled, “Open in Case of Sudden Death” so my family has something should something/anything happen to me.

Life insurance companies have grown rich on the likelihood of sudden death. Likely and possible–but how probable? Enter the actuary…

Back to writing, which is necessary and difficult for me.  And this blog, which I use to exercise my writing “muscles.”  (All two and a half of them.)  Maybe it is about quality and not quantity after all. So what if this blog has received fewer than 5,000 hits? (Okay, fewer than 3,000…but who’s counting?) Someone I admire read my blog, and paid me a lovely compliment.

Thanks, Bill. Thanks to you, I’ll stop thinking that I blog in vain, that what I’m doing here doesn’t really matter, that no one reads me (my current readers excepted–you know who you are).

So on I blather…

(If you read Bill’s March 10 post, the last sentence, this post could also be entitled:  “See How Fast Prayers Get Answered.”)