My late friend John Denver once wrote a lyric in a song that said:

“Why is it thus we are here and so soon we are gone.”

I think he was writing about his Father’s passing.

I attended a wake a couple of days ago for a young woman in her mid-forties. So young compared to my age and so young in a society that says the young live and the old pass.

Death and dying is not a common conversation topic in our society. We tend to avoid it, ignore it or even fear it for it. It connotes a finality that we wish to avoid, not only for ourselves, and for our loved ones.

I’m not sure, in my studies of thanatology, that our various religions are equipped to embrace the ending of our lives beyond the professed belief of their dogmas.

I think there is so much more to it than just dying and so much less to our transitions than the constrictions of belief espouse.

In the first place it happens to every one of us ever born. In all families somebody goes first and here’s the proverbial question! Do we get to do it all over again?

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