May 19, 2011

Gerald's Journey*

"...something extraordinary filled the room. The hairs on my arms and the back of my neck stood on end and I was washed over by waves of euphoria. At one point I even found myself grinning."

So apparently the BBC will be airing a documentary about Gerald, an 84-year-old man who is terminally ill. They will be showing his final moments, his final breath. There's, obviously, mixed feelings about this from the general public.

I'm still processing this, but I feel that maybe people who are opposed to it only feel that way because our culture is such a death-denying one. We are not a culture who honors death. 

Just as birth is a sacred moment, so is death.  And while it is a very personal moment, it is also a very universal moment.

And that's why I think it's a great idea to air this journey.

I feel like this is a good time to mention the Sacred Dying Foundation:
"In Western society, many people have lost touch with the spiritual aspect of death and dying. Medicine and technology, while valiantly saving lives, treat death as a failure or an embarrassment. How can the dying reclaim grace and dignity for themselves? How do we refocus attention on the profound spiritual experience that is fundamental to the end-of-life process?"

*Update:  I should also note that I'm wary about the motivations behind the BBC airing this documentary.  While I'm aware that ratings are ratings and money is money, my hope is that it's being aired as an inspirational and educational piece, and not one of shock.

No comments: