16 December, 2013

Fighting against reality is pointless

The article (which I won't link to, as it is not the point) was actually about gun deaths in the US, but it was the title which struck me "Parents Should Never Outlive Their Children. Can We All Agree On That, At Least?" It struck me, because it is reflective of the disconnect between our lives and the reality of being a fragile bag of skin full of squishy organs in a world full of: sharp, heavy, bitey, zappy, fast.... 'stuff' capable of rendering the 'me' part of me unfindable.
  • 2 days ago a friend's 5 year old decided to crash tackle a moving hilux. 
  • Another old friend's 30-something daughter is currently in an induced coma after a brain bleed. 
  • A month or so ago, I was standing alongside a lot of my senior students at the funeral of a former classmate, listening to his parents talk about his life. 
  • Earlier this year I failed to save the life of a co-worker who had a massive heart attack in a library full of students. 
  • A few weeks later a 15 year old student decided to have a heart attack too and we were told the chances of him surviving were slim. 
Yet, this isn't really much to deal with. I live in a country where death has been taken away. Not just away from the front room and into hospital, but away from the front of our thinking. For most people, in most of the world, throughout most of our history the idea that parents should never outlive their children would be patently absurd. Life is not something you can hold onto by arguing with it, there is no Pratchettesque grim reaper willing to listen to you as you rage against the injustice, like a 13 year old girl who has been told to stop talking in class and refuses to accept any sanction unless EVERY girl in the class who has EVER talked in this or any other class, but has not been caught, get an equal sanction...

Parents should never outlive their children? Why not? Tell that to the parents of Kandahar whose children have been collateral damage. How about the people of Iraq, whose mortality rates for the under 5s is two and a half times higher than it was before we brought them the gift of freedom. Yeah, it is OK, I'm not going all lefty today. It isn't just about the wars, it is about the deaths from famine and disease in so many countries.

Mmm, perhaps we will all

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