Friday, August 28, 2009


RIP Teddy

I was emailing back and forth with a friend, talking about the sad passing of Ted Kennedy. I said how much I admired his statement, on learning his cancer was terminal, that he was "determined to make a good end". I was quite struck by her response: "Yes, making a good end is important, but the only way to do that is to make a good life upon which that ending has only to rest. Otherwise, it's like trying to say I love you after the breakup."

I don't know if good life and good ending always correlate...
Luck certainly is a factor.
If you had a good life, it's probably easier to let go...
So true, but what do you say to someone at the end who has't made a good life upon which the ending only has to rest? I'm there with someone now and I bring the In and Out Burgers and Jelly Donuts she asks for but I don't know what to say when she tells me she's afraid to die.
2009 certainly is the year for mourning the morally complex it seems.

I guess the test for a good end will come when we see which way the healthcare legislation goes.
I'd be the one running from the light (or fire???) regretting not getting this or that done in my life. Regret not saying I love you enough. Regrets suck ass but whomever says they have none whatsoever isn't human. We're all flawed so you must have some hidden somewhere.

Agreed, Stone. "If you had a good life, it's probably easier to let go..."

I like this line as well, "'s like trying to say I love you after the breakup." I'm feeling where she's coming from.

If I knew death was knocking at my door and also felt I'd had a good life, I wouldn't go easily because death scares the shit out of me and I'd fear missing out on the lives of those left behind I care deeply for. I want to be there ... always. (But sadly I can't.)
That's a fucking complex issue...and a painful one...
I guess if you live your life doing what you want, you'll have less regrets and maybe then death would be easier to accept. So far I have no regrets. Lets hope that continues.
"If you had a good life, it's probably easier to let go..."
Not necessarily.
For some people who have suffered and struggled all their lives,death is the only way to find piece and happiness within themselves.
They've got nothing to loose and nothing to live for.
Therefore for those people,it's also easy to just let go,i think...
I always find it difficult to talk about death as one thing. Biologically it's all the same, surely. Your body just stops working. But emotionally there are a kazillion ways to go. "The end" has too many definitions.

My aunt fought cancer for nine years and during those nine years, neither life before that or the death after that influenced "the end". She left us all loved and that eliminates difficult times that may have come before that.

A friend died in a crash three years ago at the age of 21. That's never a good end, and it sheds a completely different light on his life than a prepared death would have. Some of us don't have the choice to let go.

I don't think death is one thing, or a thing at all. I think death is a medical condition forced on humans, and the whole definition of the end depends on the person. Not just on their lives (and even then after a good life death isn't always pretty... there are very ugly ways to go) but also on the situation in which they have to leave.

Death is too complex for me. It is now official.
Perhaps its not what we're leaving behind that's important, but where we're head to and the potential for a do-over" that is. Much love to Emma!
“I guess the test for a good end will come when we see which way the healthcare legislation goes.”

I disagree, Cathusmax. For all of Teddy’s good doing in promoting all kinds of important social issues, his sole reason for doing it lies within his own religious belief system that mandates doing good in order to get himself into heaven. All the good-doing in the world is far less good when it is done for self-gain, rather than a selfless offering of benefit to others. And Mary Jo Kopeckne is still dead. I have no doubt her absence in the lives of her loved ones has not been filled by any Kennedy good-doing. Ted’s life is a lesson for us all…that we MUST be ever-cognizant and diligent in how we live our lives every day, and what impact we commit upon others. Regret is the invention of a heart broken by remorse. When we don’t care what heartache or worse we cause others, there can be no true regret. That too is most often merely selfish.
Anonymous 6:52 ... You assume a lot in declaring with such certainty that Senator Kennedy’s good works were merely selfish. Who are you to say he suffered no regret and no remorse? His actions following a tragic accident in 1969 are indefensible, of course, but I believe he did suffer regret and remorse more than most of us ever do and his sorrow fueled a lifetime of good work. As a terribly flawed human being, I’ve used the worst imaginable judgment in crisis and hoped for grace and forgiveness. I think many people have and do. It is true, Ms. Kopeckne is still dead and that is tragic but there are thousands of people who suffer with HIV and Aids without medical insurance who are alive because of legislation he fought for and passed. He stood against the war in Iraq and worked for the poorest people in this country, for education and for women for 40 years. Is there no redemption in your world? As for being ever-cognizant and diligent in how we live our lives day to day, that’s a grand goal -- good luck with that. But in reality, every one makes mistakes - some with horrible consequences but there is always the hope that we can overcome those and be better and do better because of them. Believe what you want about the state of the Senator’s soul, but even recovering Catholics like me know that only God knows for sure. I choose to say thank you Senator - I hope you have found peace. As screwed up as the world we live in is - it is much better than it would've been without your efforts. Kai
Kai, I assume nothing in my post that is not personal knowledge. It is you who assume everyone on the planet is without it as you are, and apparently you feel quite free to attack upon that mis-assumption. Apparently your Catholic recovery doesn't include kindness toward others as you consistently reflect on this blog.

The bottom line to any life is that we all screw up and hurt others to one degree or another. God teaches grace and forgiveness, not good-doing to gain entry into His Kingdom. But the world just loves to edit the Word of God into what we want it to be to acquiesce our own guilt rather than just confess and receive His grace as sufficient. Whatever benefits those who’s good-doing for self-salvation may have upon others is merely incidental to the selfish goal but, I agree, nonetheless important.

While I celebrate the victory of those who have received such incidental benefit via Teddy’s good-doing, a deed once done is a deed undone, hence grace and forgiveness can be the only address. Make of that whatever you will.
Anonymous 3:35: I'm sorry I didn't realize you had personal knowledge. I'm afraid I never met Senator Kennedy, only found his life and career fascinating from a distance. But, since you knew him, I'll defer to your wisdom and say no more on the subject.

Please let me know when and where I've consistently been unkind to others on this blog. I would like to apologize to anyone I've offended. I happen to like Emma and her readers very much and would really regret hurting anyone here. Thanks for the gentle correction. xo Kai
Kai, I don't know when I started reading Emma's blog but I've never seen you be unkind or be offensive. I'm sorry this needs pointing out.
Forget about it Kai! You're most certainly NOT *constantly* unkind to others...and I've been reading this blog for a while.
People tend to over-generalize and anon. makes no exception to that rule!
Not to worry :)
Now THAT's what I call a mature and Christian response, Kai. That others may follow your example....Well done! ;)
PS Kai. You mentioned you are in recovery so wanted to share this with you. In any 12-step recovery program, it is not the facilitator’s responsibility to go find everyone you’ve offended so you can apologize. That is the offender’s job and here’s why. The apologies you will ultimately offer bear the healing for those you’ve offended. Your healing is in the effort to find them and make amends. Tit for tat as it were…blessings from above as it is. The process works if you work the process, little sister!
But what if she was saying it just to get into heaven?

Sorry, had to ask.


a very secular Cath
Oh c'mon, give it a rest already anon.
With so much shit going on in this world...does *mountain-molehill* ring any bell?
PS - Why do you assume that people here need a lecture on forgiveness??
Yes, Kai, that is a comment I should not have allowed to slip through - because it's just pure hurtful nonsense. Apologies - E
Wow. Thank you. What I love most about this blog is that generally there is such a spirit of kindness and friendship. It's truly beautiful. What Anon 9:47 said didn't feel like a lecture more like something my own sponsor would say and I appreciate it. And, love you Stone! xx

Cath - I'm secular too for quite some time. In the words of Lafayette: Jesus and I agreed to see other people, but that doesn't mean we don't still talk from time to time.

And, Emma - please no apology necessary at all. You've shown such incredible restraint and grace here at times - nothing but love and respect for you!

Have a happy Friday everyone! xo Kai
I shouldn't comment before coffee so early. Of course, Stone wasn't responding to the sweet little sister message. xo Kai
Dear Emma,

We haven't heard from you in quite a while.
Hope you're ok...

Xx is very informative. The article is very professionally written. I enjoy reading every day.
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