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Friday Discussion: That Place We Go To

When it comes to our opinions about death Ralexwin and I have some significant differences. He is adamant about the use of life support, and has requested that he stay on it until the day he dies naturally (watch he'll now come home and deny ever making that statement). I, on the other hand, most definitely do not want to be kept on life support for any sustained amount of time.

I think this difference comes from a split in our most basic of beliefs. Now, don't misunderstand, we both believe that we will be restored to our bodies after death and we both believe in the same Creator. Our religious beliefs are the same, our views on 'enduring to the end' are different.

Examples:

-What if your entire family were to die? We've known this to happen. My sister-in-laws brother lost his entire family in a car accident. My little sister had a friend whose mother was on her second family. So how would either of us deal with this?

Our answers are quick in coming. His is a simple, endure to the end. Mine is, you'd better put me on suicide watch cause I'd be heading out as fast as I could.

-What if you were taken as a slave? Me. . . simple, do everything you can to escape or die trying. Him. . .try to escape but don't be dumb enough to get yourself killed.

So you might wonder why we feel so differently.

Ralexwin believes that this life is a time for us to experience all there is to experience--to grow and to learn and to become better. Since we only have one opportunity to be here we need to take that gift and embrace it good and bad, happy and sad because once we are done that's it. How would we feel if we end up on the 'other side' knowing that we gave up.

For me, I say--I want to 'go home.' I live this life and I endure to the best of my abilities, but there are certain things that I don't want to deal with. This philosophy comes from a longing to be safe and warm in the arms of my Father in Heaven. In a place where pain and sorrow are gone and I am truly home where I belong. Where there isn't any more to 'endure.'

Of course, Ralexwin has never suffered from depression as strongly as I have, and so his view is blissfully free of the absolute blackness that comes from such incapacitation's.

So I got to thinking. We--all of us in the human race--are raised slightly different than one another. No two people have exactly the same childhood or parents. Even siblings are treated differently depending on the needs and personalities of each. Then there are the myriad of religious (or non-religious) persuasions that form the basis of our lifestyle. Add to those factors the ups and downs that create our past's and what you get is a unique person, unlike any other in the history of the world.

It therefore stands to reason that each of us has a different notion of life, even within the same religion (Ralexwin and I being a perfect example). So what is it that differs each of us from one another? What is your basic tenant on this life and whats to come? Not the one you've been taught, but the one you feel strongest within yourself? Are you an 'endure to the end' sort? Or are you a 'take me home' sort? Or are you something entirely different? How do your philosophies tick?

Comments

Lisa said…
This is a hot topic between me and Jared right now. Jared thinks no one should be on life support no matter the age.

My friends 4 month old baby is on life support. I think he's wrong to give up so quickly.

What do you think?
cannwin said…
depends on why the life support is being given. are they expecting the baby to recover (and live a quality life) or are they expecting that the baby will be on life support for an unknown amount of time (or that a vegitative state would follow).

If there was a specific given reason for being on life support ie the heart is on it's way... then I'm okay with that.

If I'm going to end up as a vegetable or be on it for a long period of time then I don't want it.
Polly Blevins said…
I am an endure to the end sort but I am definately not afraid of death. It doesn't scare me to die tomarrow but if I were stranded in Antartica I would still do everything I could to make myself stay alive and walk to help rather than go to sleep and will myself a wakeless slumber. I don't really believe that the next life is a whole lot easier. I think we have a more perfect knowledge, which changes our perspectives and that may seem easier; but, I do believe we have to work harder and learn more, and still kick our bad habits. I don't know how anxious I am to see how unperfect I am and how I negatively affected people. On the upside, it will be fun to see the good things you did too. Also, I think a lot of things that happen are because of our choices that we have made and I am a believer in taking your consequences. Not all but the ones that are not from our actions are probably going to be great learning experiences. Who wants to miss out on such opportunity? (obviously I don't have a major trial in my life right now :) )
My mom LOVES to dwell on all this last days/end of the world business. She is all about hunkering down and enduring to the end and thinks we should all be as equally prepared. My attitude: Take me out at the get-go IF my whole family goes at the same time. We saw the movie 2012 and the family (ridiculously) escapes over and over and over again. I know it's just a movie, but I think if the world were coming to an end I would make a bowl of popcorn and huddle in a circle with my family, talking, hugging, maybe crying a little, saying I love you and wait for the end. Maybe as women, our family and children are our life. Once that is taken away...what is the point? There is more for us on the other side.
cannwin said…
Your comment Mrs. Perkins reminds me of a book I read called 'Monique and the Mango Rains' it's a memoir from a woman who worked and lived in Africa for a few years.

She watched as the women in the tiny village she was at became pregnant, bore children and then watched them die from malnutrition.

Again in the book 'Three Cups of Tea' Greg Mortenson see's how children in the Pakistani mountains die over and over again.

What I've come to realize from reading these sorts of things is that our concept of life is very different from most of the rest of the world. Where we live terrified of death, terrified of the loss of one of our children... women in other countries (Africa, Pakistan, etc.) embrace death as a fact of life, a part of life neither good nor bad but inevitable.

Does that make the pain of losing a child any less traumatic? I don't think so, but it seems as if it would be less destructive, less all consuming, less shattering.

Perhaps I'm wrong, I hope to never, ever find out.
cannwin said…
Africa being a continent and not a country. ::blush::
Kaz said…
It is a hard decision to make and I know that a lot of people are still in limbo over the whole "life support" idea. A lot of people are afraid of death or leaving their loved ones or life behind - I however agree with you and do not think that long term life support is the answer to anything. Having little to no quality of life is not really a life after all, and how can we fight with Heavenly Father about this - When he says it our time to go shouldn't we just agree with him and go?

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