You’ve braved “the bitter grief” and through reading your book I have vicariously come to “understand” some measure of this bravery.
From title page to final page the one overriding theme, surpassing all others, is your passionate plea and clarion call for more compassion in the world: Heartfelt, tender and sincere … a pure love … genuine and gentle … filled with empathy, not sympathy … more of mercy and acceptance … a true desire to learn and understand, to be understood … and a desire to be of service to others.
Additionally, that life is good … that all human life, brief or extended, should be celebrated and cherished. The dying deserves our compassion of non-judgment, non-criticism … that our courage to serve the dying should supersede and rise above any rational or irrational fears … real, or learned or imagined.
And, that life and death is to be embraced with dignity not fear. And that all life, no matter its duration, is to be treasured.
This is also a journey of both caregiver and observer … showing how to overcome one’s own fears and doubts, one’s own misunderstandings and prejudices. We are encouraged to rise up to the occasion; to speak up for the dying; to be an advocate for the dying … both while they live and after their death … to be their memory, their voice … that others may learn of them, remember them and that the dead are not forgotten.
There is also self-love to consider … turning compassion toward yourself … to forgive your own weaknesses and actions and limitations … and then to tum that compassion also toward the mean, the scorners and the haters, the misinformed and the fearful. Ultimate love is universal… compassion knows no bounds.
It is not our place to judge the living or the dead. Judgement belongs to Providence and the Divine. We are not qualified to judge. Our banner, our motto and our rallying cry should be love and compassion … Ultimate Love!
Thank you for allowing me to read your book.
May Heaven shine down upon you for sharing the life, the wonder and the joy that is Chip, your son! May Heaven heal you and all others of any regrets or lingering doubts! We are all, simply, “only human”. We are all unqualified, continually guessing the answers, seeking for the truth. Be at peace. All life is short. One hundred years is short when compared to eternity. We can only do the best we can by being who we are as we labor to become better people ourselves and by serving those around us.
Thank you, Mark Stevens