Death Leaves the Room

When I said that Cammie was cancer free at the present “from the waist up”, that is all they cover with the CT scan at this point. We think there is nothing in her legs or her head. Except for brains. In her head, that is. Sorry for any confusion there folks.

She was remarking yesterday that she figured out that in the 61 days of June and July she was in the hospital for 32 days. And did I mention that she will get three months of chemo starting in September?

But the reason I am writing today is because I wanted to mention something we have thought a lot about and have a hard time talking about. Death. Death has left the room for the moment, but all along it has been the elephant in the room, peering over our shoulders and sometimes breathing rather heavily.

I can tell you that Death has halitosis.

We live in a culture that has pretty much sanitized death. Few come face to face with death anymore. The whole burial industry hides it behind flowers and solemnity. We know we are mortal, but sure do not want to be reminded of it, so we ignore and avoid it as much as possible.

And you have probably noticed that our culture accepts some deaths more easily than others. Take car accidents. Somehow death by a car accident is “O.K.”. Tragic, but O.K. But take the same person and put him in a fatal airplane accident and suddenly it is not O.K. In the car accident you sue no one. For heaven’s sake, it is just a car accident. In the airplane accident (where death may be quick and painless), you sue the HECK out of the airline. And we know air travel is way safer than driving.

Strange, isn’t it?

But death is death, whether it is a 25 year old young and beautiful woman or a 95 year old man. Now I will admit there is a natural order. We are supposed to die when we are old. That is the natural order. But Death is always lurking and is no respecter of “the natural order”.

Cammie is well aware of her mortality. She has had to deal with it. She has had time, so she has prepared herself well. She is ready. Ready, but not exactly wanting–and that is the way God made us.

There is only one way I know of that will keep us here on earth somewhat longer than expected. It is summed up in a “bumper sticker” on my dad’s fridge that says: “In life you only accomplish a certain number of things. Then you die. I am so far behind, I will never die.”

Well, like the note on dad’s fridge, the last couple of months have put us behind a bit. I think I will leave it that way.