I found this discussion very interesting and I am glad I listened to Dr. Ira Byock's views on death. It is true that sometimes we can lose sight in the remarkable value we call life. Death is an experiences that is a profound value of life. We should not assume that its only about suffering or avoidance because it is a personal event that can be a transformative experience. Death can be a growing experience that can make us stronger.
Human development is a lifelong process which continues with death. Of course we do not want people to die, especially our loved ones, but death is an extreme moment in life where we are shaken free to express ourselves ultimately. The notion that life is coming to an end can be a powerful realization in one's self. A life threatening incident, as Dr. Ira said, turns us into "Budhists" and shows us how important we really are to each other.
The will to live is inherent in humans. We wish to defy death when we can. "We are utterly vulnerable and yet unshakably confident; Utterly insignificant and infinently meaningful". But even medicine, which used to be directed solely towards healing, now is also directed to ease the death process. I agree with what he says are the four sentences that is used easiest when dealing with death: Please forgive me. I forgive you. Thank you. I love you.
I would like to say that I have had my own experiences with the death of loved ones, and each one has changed me and molded me, essentially, to who I am today and what I strive to do. Death is definately an eye-opener.
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