Day 1691: Matters of life and death

Yesterday, people in my therapy groups talked about life and death matters, because that mattered to them.  They asked each other life-and-death questions, including the following:

If you were immortal, how would that change how you live your life?

If you had control over how you would die, what would you choose?

They found those life-and-death questions — and questions  about other matters (like the sources of fear) —  in the book “If … Questions for the Soul.”

When I answered the second question in last night’s therapy group, I referenced a memorable scene from the TV show St. Elsewhere, where an old man, dying alone in the hospital, asks to be held by an orderly in the middle of the night.  When the orderly lifted the man off the bed and held him in his arms as he passed, that mattered so much to me.

How might you answer those life-and-death questions? I hope you know your answers matter.

I wonder if there are any life-and-death matters in my photos from yesterday. Let’s see ….




Was losing and finding my wallet this week a matter of life and death?  My next step is quoting Shakespeare:

He who steals my purse steals trash. ‘Tis something, nothing: ‘Twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands. A good reputation is the most valuable thing we have—men and women alike.

I took one other photo yesterday.


Is being calmer a matter of life and death?

Does this YouTube video about a St. Elsewhere cast reunion include matters of life and death?

I have some important matters to deal with today, including getting an INR blood test before I leave for Scotland tomorrow. But what matters most to me, here and now, is thanking all those who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — YOU.


Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

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21 thoughts on “Day 1691: Matters of life and death

  1. Perhaps with the perspective provided by immortality we’d realize we, like the characters of St. Elsewhere, are merely figures in a snow globe watched over by a child. And yet immortality seems like it would take all the fun out of life, especially if one were to end up like Tithonus. His is one of many stories where the lesson is “be careful what you wish for”, although he also became a cricket, so when you hear one sing you can imagine it’s Tithonus having found a new life.

  2. Great questions, Ann. I would like to die in the company of people I love or, if that isn’t possible, in the arms of a passing stranger who isn’t afraid to hold a dying woman. I hope your trip to Scotland is even better than your last one. As for your exemplary goal for yesterday, I’ve adopted it for today!
    Elouise 🙂

  3. On the question: May I be in heaven 30 minutes before the devil knows I’m gone.
    On Scotland; Have a safe and wonderful trip. Bring back pics!!

  4. Good questions today Ann, I’m not sure about immortality, I’ve awoken feeling tired and cold, no, wouldn’t like this feeling forever and ever, and every 40 years I’d have to find a new crew to drink with at the pub on Thursday nights. And as for how I would like to die, well I don’t want my last years to be spent in a nursing, so I’ll chose to die before then, peacefully, and in no pain.

  5. Wonderful post. Thank you for it. I love that we are eternal and I love that the physical body dies. Because it means its all temporary and yet the fun never ends.

  6. Happy travelling Ann x

  7. Pain free would be good; I don’t think you’d get that with immortality

  8. Safe travels Ann!!!!!

  9. Your post really got me thinking.

  10. I’d like to go like my great-grandmother–in my sleep after a lovely day visiting with family. She was a wonderful woman and it’s what she deserved. We should all be so lucky.

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