Most people are familiar with the saying “…in this world nothing is certain, except death and taxes.”
Although both subjects may be something people try to avoid in conversation, the fact is that everyone is forced to face death at some point. Not only their own, but that of those they know and love.
Lately, when it comes to health care, very few things are clear cut or able to be agreed upon - whether it is the debate on vaccines, the latest “alternative” medicine, a popular new health craze or even the Affordable Health care act. Of course, none of these specific hot-button issues are the subject of this blog…not only to avoid the politics of it all, but also to avoid distracting from the real point of this message: No matter what political views or personal opinions someone has, death is an inevitable – and inescapable - part of life which often brings up a variety of questions and very few answers.
For some, death is viewed as a definitive end to a life. Others see it as a release, renewal or even a time of rebirth. For most, death is a time of sorrow and grief, but for many, it can be tempered with the thought of our loved ones going to a better place, being free from the pain and distress of this world and experiencing the ultimate blessing of life eternal. Whatever your viewpoint, I think most would agree there are few things in life that can cause the avalanche of emotions and stress brought about by death and dying.
The most recent presentation of Mercy College’s Faith & Healing Speaker Series featured Dr. Jeffrey Bishop discussing the topics of brain death, organ donation and the importance of care given to the dead and dying. Now, when I think of discussions that might result in lively conversation, death and dying certainly don’t top the list. However, after Dr. Bishop offered some amazing insight on the above subjects, the energy of the discussion in the room was incredible.
This is the third speaker in the Faith & Healing Series I have had the privilege of attending. Typically, there are a variety of backgrounds among the attendees – medical professionals, students, educators, clergy – but most of the attendees come from a healthcare or medical background of some sort. My professional background, on the other hand, is marketing…and I’m still fairly new to the medical/healthcare forum. However, I have been pleasantly surprised by how much I have enjoyed – and how much I have learned from - each of these events.
If you haven’t had the chance to attend a Faith & Healing Speaker Series event, or even if you have attended, I would highly recommend making plans to attend the next event. Tobias Winright, PhD, will visit Mercy College on June 25 to discuss “Practicing Patients: Revisiting the Patient as Person."
These events have offered an amazing amount of insight and thoughtful reflection to not only myself, but to many other attendees I have spoken with after each of the events. I am looking forward to – and I’m certain I will enjoy - Dr. Winright’s presentation and the next series of events.
Maybe there are a few other things in life of which we can be certain.