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I don't "know" what death is.  I remember an episode of The Mentalist entitled, "Then, It's Gone".  In it Patrick Jane has an antagonistic, one upsman relationship with the medical examiner.  But Jane catches something about the ME that others do not see--that he has a serious illness, one that the ME knew would kill him.  In the end the ME asked Jane if he could be with him while he took his life via a drug overdose because with someone from the police present at the time of death there would be no need for an autopsy--something he had performed on so many others.

Jane said he didn't think he could do that and then went into the kitchen to make himself some tea, leaving the ME alone (he knew what was happening).  When he came back and sat down near the ME he showed him a simple sleight of hand coin trick, repeating it while each time saying, "It's there, then it's not" as the ME slipped away, thanking Jane before it was over.  Jane then took the cup of tea from his hand before it could spill.

For me that was both moving and compassionate, with Jane helping the passing of a man with whom for the episode he did not hate but had a kind of gotcha relationship.  That's how I see death--you're there, then you're not.

I thought of this after I recently went through through a medical procedure, the one you get every 10 years and have to drink the disgusting liquid the day before in preparation.  I underwent anesthesia and I distinctly remember being in the procedure room and then the next thing I was awake in my recovery room.  It was like a light had simply gone off--I was there, then I was not.  For me, that is how I see death and I only hope my own will be that simple and easy.
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Traveler That's how I see death too, and I loved that episode. July 30, 2013, 09:55:16 PM