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As a Liberal Christian...On the tragedy in Forida

As a Liberal Christian, I accept death as a part of life.

A feeding tube for 15 years is artificial and is human interference in natural dying which is part of the divine plan.  I am amazed and frightened by religious conservatives' inability to accept this.  And, after marriage, it the spouces' decision not the parent's decision. The involvement of politicians is disgusting and our courts have done their job courageously despite hysterical pressure from fringe groups.

I had a very profound lesson in "natural" dying as I sat with my 88 year old father the last three days of his life.  He was in a similar state as Terri Schiavo. Except our family was working together with each other and the doctors. He did not leave a living will but I knew two things.  He would cling to life with every ounce of will he could muster and he would not want to be kept alive artificially.  In the middle of the second day, I was overwhelmed with the feeling that he was dying of thirst.  The sense of compassion that we all carry in our hearts made me want to give him water despite the advice of the doctor and the nurses. So when they weren't around, I tried to give him some water. The reaction was imeditate and definite. He shot me that look with his eyes that I had seen so many times as a boy which said, "Don't do that."  His eyes at this point were the only thing he could move.  His body was several days into the the process of letting go of life and the touch of water had caused him great pain. In a couple of minutes, he returned to the look of calm peace that had surrounded us before my act of "compassion." It was at that moment that I fully realized there was something going on here that I didn't understand and was bigger then both of us. The next day and a half was just spent in a profound meditation of bing together as my Dad let go of this world.  I would sing him softly some of the old hymns and then sit in silence twirling a lock of his snow white hair.

Posted: March 26, 2005 ,   Modified: March 29, 2005

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