I was listening to the radio yesterday, they had a piece from the death of Thomas Eric Duncan, a poor black man in Texas. His nephew believes he died because he was treated differently than if he was white. There is some significant evidence about that and indeed the hospital he was seen at has some history of not providing adequate treatment to poor non -insured patients, but that aside. the injustice of that is what it is and no doubt the hospital will have to deal with it, and Thomas may have died regardless. His death is just that another death, it makes the news because it was in America, the home of the free, the first world, first nation. Josephus weeks his nephew is angry, he is angry on a lot of grounds, I share his anger but what touched my heart was this.
Thomas, died alone, in an isolated hospital room, all he could say to his nephew was that he was so cold. Thomas was cold physically and emotionally. Thomas had a family that loved him dearly and they are hurting. It seems hard to believe that in such a populous country, in a busy hospital that someone can die alone. Being alone is a fact of life for many people, being lonely is a different thing. I know for some people they value living alone. They value their independence, their lack of commitment, they can hang their clothes how they like, leave the toilet seat up or down, don’t have to consult with anyone about eating, drinking, spending, whatever, it doesn’t matter. I guess at a certain level I can understand that. I live in a rather busy household and there are times that I just want turn off the lights and hide.
I have a lot of people who depend on me in one way or another, I guess people see me as a safe place to talk, and I know how to listen, add to that my parental responsibilities and there is a whole lot of caring going on. lately that has been overwhelming me, a large part of that is driven by the three hours I travel everyday and the fact that my back pain issues are almost intolerable at the moment. I know that in my last blog I share how I have turned off dating sites, and that is still how it is for me. that itself is a complex issue with a simple answer, but like all things every choice has a cost. My daughter shared how she felt so alone and that she saw how isolated I and she was when we attended church. I certainly know that what she said is unfortunately true, I also know that some of that is because people have made judgments about our situation, I also know that some of that is because I am straightforward, honest and value integrity. I am not a conservative and because of this I do not fit easily into what is essentially a white middle class church that has very conservative values among many of its members.
Most of their conservative values are masked and cloaked as “Christian ” values however they do not stand up to any biblical analysis. They are actually using the church to mask their right wing, neo-liberal prejudices, and for many people not to do so would mean that they would have to engage with issues such as how they spend their money and inequality but enough of that, they don’t have to answer to me though I am willing to challenge them, and I am different to them but no better. Enough of that back to loneliness and death. As i stand right now I have no particular fear of death at all. I may change that point of view if I had a sense that my death was imminent through sickness or other means, i also go to the Dr (most of the time) when I am sick and take my medicines. So I tend to try and avoid death right now, however I am afraid of somethings.
I am afraid of being a poor dad, a bad friend, of living a mediocre life and of losing my integrity. I am also afraid of being lonely. I am lonely at the moment, that much is true even in the midst of many people and a busy life one can be lonely. I think above all else it is intimacy and all that comes with it and no I am not talking about sex, although can be a part of intimacy. No lectures on hat in my blog today. The things I miss most are very simple, I miss just being able to be, being able to unload my feelings without judgement or expectation, I miss the warmth and comfort of sharing a bed, just being able to hear another person breathing beside me at night is comforting, to know that if I really needed to talk I could, and I miss touch.
It was touch that Josephus Weeks the nephew of Thomas Duncan felt so bad about, all he could do was gaze through a window and watch his Uncle die, he could not hold his hand, just talk to him through a window or a wall. It was that which i thought about, how much I miss touch. No easy answer to this at all, because of my focus on integrity. No need to feel sorry for me at all. Why write at all you may wonder, well here is my point I guess. I feel so frustrated at times when I talk to askholes ( people who ask for advice and never take it) they travel from person to person to seek their advice till the finally find someone who will either just agree with them or who think like them. many of these people are seeking something hat hey already have, but because of fear, pride, whatever it is they cannot engage with it. But more about askholes another time. More than anything else I wan o encourage you in our own relationships, engage, enjoy and improve them, you never know when things may change, don’t take them for granted.