I read an interesting commentary in a paper a while ago arguing that death was now the last great taboo. Real death, that is; for we all know how often we see violent death casually portrayed in film and television these days.
Recently, here in the UK, there was a series presented by Robert Winston, one of the pioneers of in-vitro fertilisation, examing 'Life' and each of its stages. The one dealing with death filmed the last days of a man in Ireland, showing him surrounded by friends and family to the last moment.
It was peaceful, and in a way, beautiful. He didn't die particularly easily, since he was dying of cancer. But it was intensely human. Towards the end, a musician friend brought his daughter to say goodbye to the dying man; he sang 'The Wild Mountain Thyme' to him, as that was one of his favourite songs. And he played it again at his funeral. I'm sure the vast majority of you out there will know the song; it has a special significance for those of us who go to Whitby Folk Week in August as it's sung at the closing ceremony. I sat and watched, and cried as I haven't for years. Not just because it was sad to see this man's death, though of course it was, but also because of the feeling of rightness that he was able to go, with life going on around him, people who would miss him and mourn for him, and with music in his ears to the end. I think if we thought about death more, faced it more honestly, it would become less terrible. Trite and easy to say, I know, but our culture seems increasingly to have lost the ability to cope with death.
A most interesting thought for the day.*s* Thank you...