Dignity, Humanity, and the Human Condition

We’ve all seen fear, we’ve all felt fearful, but the gravity of fear bestowed upon oneself from another is a reality unto its own. This fear goes beyond anxiety of uncertainty. It’s the fear that comes with certain knowledge of a terrible, unwanted fate. Near death. Fear that a ride to the hospital is a life forever disrupted and a terrifying fear of life ending. Friends made, a safe caring environment yanked away in the middle of night.

She stood, she took steps. She cried out my name and begged for me to please not let them take her back to the hospital. She wasn’t going. So I easily stepped into the space the EMS crew made, recognizing she wanted a friend. Into me she leaned, her arms grasping for a comforting hug. I held her, offered her the best comfort I could. She wants outside for a breath of fresh of air today. I want her to have that because I know what she doesn’t: that she soon will be forced to leave for good this place she loves and calls home. I’ll sit with her, hold her, comfort her. We must never take for granted the little things and sooner or later all of us will be the weaker amongst us. In that there is no shame. I felt nothing but privileged to be a comfort to a dear, sweet friend. There were minutes of personal fear that I’d heard the final words she had to say. But the important thing is being there to hear the words.

Ralph Stanley Oh Death

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