A Happy Ending

When Roger was in rehab after a hospitalization I realized he would not be coming home after his “rehabilitation”, and in fact would never be coming home again. It was the deepest loneliness and sadness I have ever felt. I would go home after my nightly visits and search for videos of dog rescues on You Tube. You know the ones where a poor dog is on its own, starving, dirty and afraid of humans. I  knew that no matter how bleak things looked the dog would be rescued, cared for, cleaned up and adopted by a loving owner. I was obsessed with the happy ending. I watched countless rescues because I needed to know that happy endings were possible.  But not for me….

Movies, books and lives should not have sad endings. If I ask about a book or movie and I hear the ending was sad I am very reluctant to read or watch it, sad endings are silly when the human creator can control the story.  Sad endings are the tornado from the Wizard of Oz, I don’t want to be carried away by sadness. Sticking my head in the sand, whistling Dixie or just plain old denial haven’t  stoped sadness and sad stories from infiltrating my awareness.   What was the point I asked my college friends, if everyone was going to die? Isn’t death the ultimate sad ending?  No human can edit death out of the human story.  Roger died and none of us will escape death.

Can we talk about Death?  It seems to me it is easier to talk about wars, murders and  yucky bodily functions, or almost anything,  than it is to have a conversation about death. The philosophy or psychology supporting hospice care is the concept of a “good death”.  Do we lose our “battle” with cancer when death occurs? How long do we “fight” to defeat death?

I think surrendering to death may be the best path to a good life. Staying alive at all costs is not cheating death, it could be cheating life.  Acceptance, peace, reconciliation, freedom and surrender are pillars of a good death. I was honored to be with Roger when died; I felt like I was witnessing the birth of his soul. A happy ending.

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