Dying Matters

My transfer of merit list, which I keep on my altar and read through every day, is soon going to run into a second page. Many of those on the list are dealing with cancer. That’s what you do deal with it or so it seems to me. The other day I spoke on the phone to a chap in a hospice, he volunteered that he was not afraid of death or anything like that. He just wanted to talk to a Buddhist. He seemed quite perky and I found myself reminiscing about my days working with Liverpool kids in the 1970’s. It was an attempt to take him back to the good old bad old days of his childhood. He is not going to live for a whole lot longer.

There is, perhaps, an expectation we have that being so seriously ill and facing possible imminent death people should adopt a grave attitude, err…a sullen and serious attitude. This video Last Laugh presented by comedian Alexei Sayle sails in the face of such assumptions. There’s gallows humour which the terminally ill, and elderly, get a lot out of. There is simple joy there too. I hope it does something for you, ill or not. The video is linked to an organization called Dying Matters which looks like it has some interesting and useful information and advice on it.

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10 thoughts on “Dying Matters”

  1. Elisabeth Kubler Ross describes in one of her books on Death & Dying, a woman in her 30s who was terminally ill and had three young children. She said all she wanted was for people to come into her hospital room & smile & see her as a person, not as someone dying who had young children. She was fed up of all the solemn faces which came in. I relate to that. My best hospital visitors were the ones who came & shared a few laughs & comments about my predicament looking at it from my angle.

  2. I also related to the story the woman told in the excellent video about someone saying -‘this has really upset me, blah, blah’. Many years ago I had a traumatic operation & more than one person seemed to find it helpful to come & tell me about their own problems, even to the extent of weeping about them. I was somewhat unimpresseed at the time!

  3. Both links take you to the same place ie the video, so I guess the ‘Dying matters’ limk isn’t working correctly? Just to let you know…

  4. Cancer is featuring rather large in my family just now. A niece of mine has just completed therapy and the disease has gone into remission. My wife’s sister has been diagnosed and therapy is ongoing and my eldest daughter is undergoing preliminary tests following a provisional diagnosis.

    All three have said (not in so many words), “We’re not dead yet, let’s live a little while we can.”

    I’ll go along with that for now. Time enough to grieve when the time comes.


  5. We expect it of ourselves to be serious in serious situations. However it can be at those times when people crack jokes and the like. That too can become tiresome if over done.

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