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Open Thread: A Beautiful Reminder to Embrace Living

I’ve been delaying my first front page post because I didn’t want to do the dreaded figurative face plant — I do enough literal ones; I’m an awful klutz. I started working on something, but, it turns out, it will end up being my second post, because I read something last night that struck me and that I found incredibly moving. It touched me further today, when I read that Marie Osmond’s son had taken his own life yesterday.

As some may know, Andrew Koenig, whom I remember fondly from his role on Growing Pains, was found dead in Vancouver on Thursday. He, too, had taken his own life. His father, actor Walter Koenig, whom most will know from his role as Chekhov on Star Trek, had to face the cameras in a time of unbearable grief.  He, with great dignity despite his deep pain, asked that his family be given peace to mourn.

Doctor Zero, a truly gifted writer at Hot Air, paid tribute to that life lost — and reached out to all who may be contemplating the same course of action. I hope you will take this as I did; not as something sad and mournful, but as something truly hopeful (although I do suggest having tissues handy. And not just the ladies.)  A reminder to all that every life has meaning; every soul has a purpose. That in this world, you need never feel alone. You need never see only bleakness and despair. Open your eyes and truly see. Open your heart and truly listen. It’s there — real meaning — if you seek it and don’t give up. And if you, as Doctor Zero said, “listen to the prayers of the living world”.

An excerpt from Doc Zero:

You may find yourself wishing you could give the unwanted years of your future to the clients of those hospitals and hospices. I did, years ago, when I stood where you are standing now. I was on my knees at the time, offering that trade with all my heart. It doesn’t work that way. Those who tend the hospices can tell you why, and the people in the churches and temples can explain why it shouldn’t.” [snip]

He continues:

If your walk takes you past sunset, watch the cars rolling into the driveways of apartments and houses. If you walk from night into morning, watch the people reluctantly leaving their homes, to provide for their families. Those people are not wasting their lives, but fulfilling them. They return home to enjoy their reward, and renew their inspiration. Every day, they write new pages in the human story. None of us will see the end of that tale… but I know you share my appetite to read another chapter, and then one more after that. You may have convinced yourself to ignore it, but it’s still there. [snip]

You may be afraid to face the years ahead. You’re not the only one, and if you extinguish the light of your faith and wisdom, you consign others to darkness. You might see death by your own hand as the end of unbearable pain… but I ask you to think about Walter Koenig, facing a wall of cameras with quiet grace in the hours after finding his son’s body, and understand that it’s only the beginning of agony.

You might have decided your fellow men are rotten to the core, and you’re weary of their company. Listen to the music of Mozart, or look upon the work of Michelangelo, and consider the argument of those who profoundly disagree. Maybe part of your problem is that you’ve been listening to the wrong music, or looking at the wrong pictures. Dark waters are easy to drown in. The judgment of the human race will not lack witnesses for the defense, and they will make their case to you, if you give them a chance.

Now, take the last few steps back to your home, and set aside one sorrow or terror with every footfall, until your mind is clear. If you’re thinking of incinerating the remaining years of your life, surely you can spare a few minutes for quiet reflection, and hear this prayer from the living world:

Please don’t leave us. We need you.

I would have excerpted the entire piece; it’s beautiful beyond words. Please, read the whole thing here.

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