Thursday, March 31, 2011


Earlier in my blog I mentioned Venetia Stanley-Smith, a British woman who now lives near Kyoto and has a half hour TV show, which is one my all-time favorites, but which is only sporadically shown here on the ever dwindling PBS stations. 

Japan has been on my mind and I am sure on the minds of most other people.  In another PBS show recently about the people of Japan, it illustrated how disciplined, well organized and other-oriented many of the Japanese are and these qualities and characteristics will surely help them in rebuilding their country.  In contrast, sadly, to Haiti, where I fear things will never be much better...

I believe that when disasters like this happen, they in essence happen to all of us.  The earth is a living organism and her actions and reactions reverberate throughout and will reach us all in one way or another, and in a random manner.  Death, which can take us at any time  is something we all share as well.  I don't know about you, but I find great comfort in that.

From my experiences as a health care giver, I have come to conclude that many people "pick their own time to die" and often do so when they are alone, after the tearful visits of family and friends.  I have come to believe that death is a very personal adventure and the way we take the journey often reflects the way we journeyed through life.  My fear of dying disappeared over years of being privileged to observe my dying patients;  but I have not lost my fear of suffering.

The people of Japan have suffered and still are suffering.  Help if you can:

Venetia recently put a meditation on dying on her blog.  The link is in my "creative people" section on the left, and here:, and I hope she does not mind my reprinting Bishop Brent's wise and comforting lines (abbreviated version):

What is Dying?

A ship sails and I stand watching till she fades on the horizon
 and someone at my side says: 'She is gone'
Gone where? Gone from my sight, that is all; 
she is just as large as when I saw her. 
The diminished size, the total loss of sight is in me, not in her, 
and just at the moment when someone at my side says 'She is gone', 
there are others who are watching her coming, 
and other voices take up a glad shout: 'There she comes!'

And this is dying.

~ Tranquility and Tolerance ~

1 comment:

  1. I believe that when a person dies she'll be in a place where there is no pain, tears, sadness....pure joy and happiness only.