Sunday, October 10, 2010

Checkout Time

“When it’s your time…it’s your time.” This profound sentiment recently tumbled out of a man of the cloth’s mouth. He was consoling the grieving daughter of an individual who died rather unexpectedly last week. Uncharacteristically, the deceased had called on his GP several times in the weeks preceding his passing. The family was bewildered and angry at what they perceived as this doctor’s laissez-faire attitude and non-diagnosis of something very, very serious.

As this poor fellow’s vital organs slowly but surely ceased functioning, there was perhaps little that could have been done to save his life. Who really knows? Still, should we blithely accept the tired bromide: “When your time is up, it’s up?” If this is indeed the way things work, then everything from medical malpractice to drunk drivers causing the deaths of others is part of some larger ethereal plan. Why blame any of these folks for their actions? If they are lethally incompetent and irresponsible, expressly to make certain others check out on time, and not a moment sooner or later, they certainly shouldn't be punished or reviled.

Having come pretty close to being dead as a door-nail several years ago—fortunately, it wasn’t my time—I don't really fear this final act anymore. What I do fear is being in the shadows of my fellow world travelers shuffling off this mortal coil before me, and having to listen to more and more of the same illogical, simplistic, contradictory, and non-reassuring reasons for life and death. It's enough to put a man in an early grave.

1 comment:

  1. ... or roll over in it, if one has already passed the time limit! :-)


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