Reflections on Death and Dying


Paul Munnis

Increasingly we are reminded of how dangerous guns are in the hands of mentally ill people. Right now it’s at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas; before it was night clubs, theatres, even schools. The carnage is terrific and is forcing us to think twice about life, death, grouping in crowds and how to manage firearms now that most Americans have at least a $600 or more pistol or rifle stored away.

We might also observe that the Republican Party faces imminent death as it is unable to govern.

When I was a high school student I did a paper on “The Wandering Jew,” he gambled and won Christ’s clothing as Christ lay dying on a cross on Golgotha. In return, he inherited eternal life. He was immortal, and he wandered the earth, bored, knowing it all through experience, and unable to die for his natural life-cycle was perturbed. It was a curse of the worst kind.

All things that live have a natural life-cycle with a beginning and an end. That is the truth I now face, one of certain death, yet it is the impulse of living things to keep on living. So we struggle for life until the last possible moment.

The military depends upon a soldier’s situation of “kill or be killed.” Naturally the former is the choice of a soldier. Sometimes that soldier is an infantry man or women who must kill at a very personal level. Sometimes the soldier is remote on a cannon firing shells at the masses of enemy soldiers or flying an aircraft where one person delivers bombs, rockets, bullets, and death to masses of people, sometimes civilians. It is unnatural for one man to kill another, soon it works upon the mind as he wonders about the enemy he killed and what their life might have been had he not interfered. This is the real source of PTSD that is untold except between brothers in arms. It can drive some to commit insane acts and wantonly kill as we have recently seen in Las Vegas. We have a great deal of mental illness in America and Republicans refuse to address the matter.

So when you get into your old age you are glad to have survived; yet you know you are in a place there is no going back from. Death awaits you and it is a matter of how and when.

That is what is happening to me, I am old, sickly, have a poor prognosis, and need to get my affairs in order. Part of that task is writing this column for one day very soon I may have to shut-down TRD. I founded it in 2002 to focus my fellow Democrats on Party Values and I have seen the good, bad, and ugly posted on TRD. Things are very extreme right now and I won’t be able to report them.

Naturally one reflects upon dying itself and today modern medicine provides delay as treatment is administered and might be able to change the time line. But we are still going to die.

You think back to the Christian principles you have held, you wonder how much is true. Maybe death is like a light switch, you click it and it is over or you are switched to heaven, hell, and purgatory, as described in “The Divine Comedy” where comedy has a happy outcome if you lived a good life.

So there it is, what seems like a binary choice.

Only it isn’t for Quantum Physics enters with a notion of infinity and begins to deal with energy. We are taught life is eternal in Christianity and here is Physics, talking and demonstrating black holes and opposite polarity implying that life energy is stored perhaps using the law of attraction, now in deep study. So there might be a state change when death occurs. As proof, the physicist invites us to look at the night sky and recognize the energy of a twinkling star could have originated and started to shine 400,000 years ago. The aura that a person gives off is an energy source and it may enter a realm compatible with eternal life. So there might be a life hereafter, but one different from that taught us by organized religion.

Anyhow, I will be soon be dead and either something will transform or it won’t; we can’t tell until confronted by death itself.

I have seen many for whom quality of life is poor as they try to stave off death and I have met many who are sold on a religious view of the hereafter. I have also met physicists who are committed to understanding energy and it’s relationship to infinite energy.

There isn’t much else to say except that I wish my fellow Democrats good luck as they have forced key issues out in the open including civil rights, health-care, taxation, prejudice and bigotry, plus education. Please keep fighting to preserve a hard-won social safety net. Do not fear speaking truth to power.

Good by.