Saturday, April 3, 2010

Preparing for Death

I hate to be so bleak, but this issue comes up not because I am anticipating my imminent demise, but because I am still around while others are not, and I must deal with the pain.

It is the natural course for a child to bury a parent. While painful, the other way around is unimaginably sadder. My dad is doing better since his recent stroke and its complications, but 83 is a fragile age, especially when you smoked for about 65 of those years. I will visit him again next week.

I must be prepared. So I am turning to my root, reading on Kaddish and sitting Shiva.

To my Christian friends this is a time of renewal and resurrection through faith in a power much greater than any that exists only on this earthly plane. To my Jewish readers, a time of passing over, dodging the angel of death by knowing the right signs and keeping the covenant. To all my friends on this side of the equator, this is the season of rebirth and daffodils and promise.

With my dad's recent close call, with Ron's funeral, with too many fellow CLLers who must first swing closer to death with dangerous treatment options, to ultimately slingshot past it, I need some shelter in this storm.

I will construct my edifice out of my tradition, but will it be strong intellectually, but a flimsy fortress against the stabbing emotional winds?

Like how I approach immunotherapy or DLIs, I will be hitting the books starting with

The Mystery of the Kaddish: Its Profound Influence on Judaism [Hardcover]
By: Leon Charney

Guess you can tell I am an Amazon fan. Bibliotherapy.

Will it be enough? I doubt it. I must walk the walk, not just read the read, but this will give me a direction.

As a doctor, I spent much of my life helping people with this issues. Now it is time for this physician to heal and comfort himself.

I have not lost sight of the here and now joy that springs from the coldly wonderful fact that I am on this side of the dilemma, dealing with handling the losses and the unanswerable questions and the pain, and not being the source of them.

I also have not lost touch with the responsibilities, the mitzvahs this engenders.

Doing this work will help me. It always has.

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Blogger Judy Cleri said...

May the love of our heavenly Father comfort you as you go though these struggles in your life. Give it all up to Him as He is the only one who can give you the peace that you are looking for.

Blessings to you on this beautiful Easter Sonday.


Judy C.

April 4, 2010 at 11:47 AM  

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