April 29, 2005

I Want to Live

Jerz: Am Lit II (EL 267): Jones, ''I Want to Live''

This story really got inside me very deeply. It was one of those stories for me that you just don't feel the same after reading. You feel gentler, more at peace with yourself and with dying. Life at times can be stressful and busy and we lose track of why we are here (to love our neighbors and God) and we forget that death and suffering will happen to us eventually. Usually death is just something that happens to other people. We show up at the funeral home, make small talk, take the little card with the name and sign the book and that's death. I actually just attended a funeral home on Wednesday. My boyfriend's grandfather passed away. When you look at somebody's body laying there with the makeup and clothes so still it's so strange to me because it is not them, the life is gone. I could go into a big rant about why in the heck do we powder and preserve our loved one's bodies but it's really not relavent to the story. I think the reason this story got the best of me was because it truly is from the perspective of the dying woman. It wasn't her story of how she beat cancer or the story someone would tell about a loved one who died of cancer. It was the real story. We take for granted everyday that our bodies work right and that we are not in pain. This story is meant to make us look at our condition and live everyday to the fullest. Why bitch about Mcdonald's burgers not being made right? Does that matter? No. So laugh and love and enjoy your life while you can. Live your life always ready to meet your death. I have slipped away from this mindset myself, when the stress builds up, the first thing we let go of is the very thing that holds us together, our spirituality, our faith. Though I have not lived long, I have experienced things in my life which have caused me to realize how possible death is for me. One of them, I had time to prepare for, two of them I did not. Like in the story the kids sitting in the theatre, waiting for the curtain to roll up, you have to wait for death like that. KNowing that it's there behind that curtain.

Another thing that is constantly brought up is the pain the woman has. She is constantly in pain. The thing about pain is, at least for me, If you are in servere pain, and all you think about is pain, then the pain will never go away in fact it will consume you. There is good pain and bad pain. Good pain is pain you understand, you know what is happening and you accept it. Like labor, the body is equipped to handle the pain of labor and if you trust that you don't need an epidural, I didn't take pain medication of any kind when I had my daughter because I truly believed in my body's ability to handle it. Bad pain is pain that you don't understand and don't accept. The thing about bad pain is that you can't get it go away as easily as good pain because either it's killing you and you are fighting it or you don't know what it is and you think it may be killing you. This is the position the woman is in. She has pain from the cancer and she is not ready to die. She cannot accept the pain, she is fighting it.
If she were ready for death pain would be a sign that it won't be long. She wouldn't need all the pain killers. I don't know. Maybe she would, but I don't really think life is living for the next time you can take a pain pill. Or being whacked out on morphine the last minute you will see you loved ones. I don't think I want to meet my maker while I am high on morphine. That's just me. This story is a lesson, it's supposed to sink in real deep, at least i think so.

Posted by MaryAnderson at April 29, 2005 09:54 PM | TrackBack