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marriage – dying – death panels

www.motherjones.com/politics/2008/09/do-taxpayers-need-marriage-workshops

I don’t know.  this was just appalling – putting forth some kind of “pro-marriage” agenda instead of actually feeding, housing, assisting poor families…  you know – if you can’t produce results with your money, programs, and agenda – why not go back to TANF, food stamps, health insurance for kids??

I need more coffee.  this might not make a whole lotta sense.

www.csmonitor.com/2009/0813/p09s01-coop.html

www.inlander.com/content/newscommentary_health_reform_congress

www.nytimes.com/2009/08/16/magazine/16FOB-wwln-t.html

I was really saddened to hear that the “end-of-life” care provision had been scrapped from the table.  I used to work for hospice and it is a good program.  you, as a personal favor to your family, should think about creating a living will, an end-of-life care directive.  so your family members who love you won’t have to make really, really, difficult decisions at your deathbed.  when they are stressed out, dealing with unhealthy family patterns and sibling struggles for power…  etc. etc.  it’s just SMART, I assure you.

I’ve seen families entirely unprepared for this kind of loss.  “Well, you should think about calling some funeral hones…”  “REALLY?”  (chaplaincy facepalm moment. woe.)  yes you should.   ummm…. yeah.

this, in contrast to some hospice families I worked with, who had worked with social workers and nurses and the like, who were – if not “ready” for their loved one to depart this earth – “prepared.”  this is think is the key difference that is lost among the shout-fests and accusations of killing gramma.

being “ready” for someone to die implies a kind of inheritance-grubbing, callous, mean-spirited opportunism, or desire that their loved one’s suffering would be over.  (e.g. “I wish gramma would hurry up and die because I want my inheritance”)  OR, it also implies this kind of bone-weary grief that comes on after someone has had a long, debilitating illness, like dementia or alzheimer’s or lou gehrig’s.  you “wish” the person would die, because they’re suffering so much, etc etc.

being “ready” could also imply a kind of emotional stance where you’ve said your goodbyes and are just experiencing the worst kind of waiting…

being “prepared” means, to me:  you’ve picked a funeral home;  you’ve picked a casket;  you’ve made your wishes known to family members about your desires for buiral, cremation, songs you want sung at your memorial, etc.  you’ve paid for a family plot at a cemetery or mausoleum.

being “prepared,” in this sense – is such a huge blessing.  why?  you save your loved ones, who are and will be in considerable distress, the onus of this kind of decision making.

we in this american culture have such a death-averse taboo…  that even talking about this stuff is considered well…  taboo.  if we recognized tat death is an essential part of life…  perhaps we wouldn’t be so uncomfortable about this whole thing.

ummm…  do you have a will?
do you have a living will?  (which basically gives directions should you suffer some kind of serious, life-alering injury or illness.  spells out what you would like to have done.  think of Terri Schiavo.  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terri_Schiavo_case  it was an utter, national tragedy that this woman’s life and death were so embattled.  it is completely absurd.  and tragic…

anyway.

I think people’s deaths could be celebrated as much as their births:  singing, dancing, feasting.  it happens sometimes accidentally.

I think I’ve been trying to write a novel about this in my brain for years.  not that I think about it…

and the death panels?  those are the existing committees on health insurance companies, doling out what would get treated and what would not.  the level of rhetoric and what people in this country will actually believe – just boggles my mind.

2 thoughts on “marriage – dying – death panels”

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