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Farewell, Rex.

Our dear parishioner died this evening. He was a man dedicated to our parish, a hard worker who did good deeds and raised fine children. He died at about seven p.m. My friend was driving past and saw me at the church and sent me a text. It all happened fast in the end. He only really found out about the cancer at our Bazaar so it's not long ago. But at least the family had a time to say goodbye. He has six children and nineteen grandchildren, all of them gathered round him today. They kept the children out of school for the day. But it all makes me wish I could've said goodbye to my own father, instead of just standing there staring at his body sustained by endless machines, pumps, tubes, respirator and all. It was awful really, and I guess those images will always haunt me a little.

*shrug* oh well. Steve's father died in his sleep, days before we were due to celebrate his 60th birthday, so that was a lot worse really. Seeing him 'asleep' like that, in bed, it was eerie. Christy was born a few days later.

I was helping Asher with his assignment on Nicaragua, Bangladesh and East Timor (it's a Caritas thing) and it's interesting reading about how the Catholic Church has stymied some types of progess and welfare in a country like Nicaragua, how lack of birth control has contributed to a lot of the misery. I do feel embarrassed about a lot of the Church's past horrors, and some present ones too. It is by no means all right and in some situations, the Church's behaviour (and behaviour of individuals representing the Church) has been nothing short of frighteningly and horrifyingly intolerable, and it still is, but then, just about every power-weildng service or party or group can show you their skeletons. I just think the Catholics have more than their fair share!!! Too many men and too much power in their hands, if you ask me. In their efforts to create some sort of God-fearing people, they lost the plot completely and abused their power far too many times.
And the birth control issue, well, I don't have anything against birth control, I think it's probably a very good idea for anyone who needs it, but I do have issues with abortion, and that probably started when I was a teenager, and we were brainwashed by the nuns and visiting horrific slide shows of aborted foetuses, things our parents would never have seen. So brainwashed I might have been, but I can't quite feel tolerant of abortion. A beating heart is a beating heart, which means it is alive, and even if it should take forty weeks to make that person, it's still a person when born at thirty-seven or thirty-eight weeks, like all my children, and it's still a person when born at thirty-four weeks, like my friend's daughter, Rebecca, and it's still a person at twenty-six weeks like little Anna who just died a fortnight ago after three months in a neonatal ward. Her funeral filled a church. So I feel that it's still a person at any stage that that tiny heart is beating, that brain is growing, that personality is developing, I don't quite see how you can deny that. Or is it that it's okay to kill a person, if they haven't made their mark on the world yet? Is that the logic behind the condoning of abortions? Or is it that 'free choice' thing, women have free choice to kill babies and dammit, no man will get in our way? I don't even get that. And whoa, before you get on your high horse (oh, hang on, those people are gone now, huh!), I know men can be bastards, and maybe condoning the 'morning after pill' for rape and forced sex is a fine thing, a necessary thing before that life even gets off the ground. No woman deserves to be forcibly infiltrated and abused by a man, or be held hostage by a man's power and sexuality. And hey, I'd never be judgemental of someone who had to or chose to have an abortion, that is their choice. I just can't say how I'd feel about it, inside my own head... And I'm not taking a stand. I am just saying. There is a lot of death around me, and there will be a funeral to attend, and I think I just might like to celebrate life.

Comments

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
greenpizzazz6
Mar. 14th, 2007 01:35 pm (UTC)
That's awful to hear about your parishoner. He sounds like he was a great man. But, yes, at least the family had time to say good-bye.

I definitely support birth control. I've seen a lot of the people that come in to get it, and they definitely need it! I ideally, people would just keep their legs closed until they're ready to have kids, but I don't think that's realistic. I think that especially when it's young people having sex, it's better that they prevent the pregnancy than end up with an unwanted one.

Which brings us to abortion. A tough topic for me. I suppose I'm against it. It's still tough for me though. I do have a friend who had an abortion. I know that she would never have been able to raise a child, and she never would have been able to give it up for adoption. So, I don't know, maybe she did make the right choice. It still seems wrong to me though. It is ending a life.

I know people who have had children young, as young as 15. The kids have rough lives. They don't have much chance of getting anywhere in life. Hopefully they'll pull themselves out of it, but the odds are strongly against them. Still though, I don't know that abortion would have been an option.

So, I suppose I'm against it, but like you said, I wouldn't ever judge someone who had an abortion. It's a very personal issue. My friend never actually even told us, but a couple of us just know. But it's better that way, people shouldn't have to know. It's a woman's business.
natesmountain
Mar. 14th, 2007 07:49 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Cari.

-I definitely support birth control.
That's good. I really don't see what the problem is with the church and birth control. More like man control, if you ask me ;)
-I think that especially when it's young people having sex, it's better that they prevent the pregnancy than end up with an unwanted one.
Absolutely.
-abortion. A tough topic for me. I suppose I'm against it. It's still tough for me though. I do have a friend who had an abortion
It is a tough subject, for sure, and moreso for younger people like you, because it's so - well, there. And yeah, you look at someone like your friend and think, whoa, they would have been bad with a baby, and at the same time, you look at the ending of a life and think, hmmm, did it have to happen that way. It's really tough. And the more advanced our technology gets with IVF and things, the more difficult choices will have to be made.
And sure, there are some lives that perhaps would have been better off not living, but we can only hope that somehow they touched someone for some good. I guess I'd be in favour of much better adoption strategies.
-I wouldn't ever judge someone who had an abortion. It's a very personal issue
Yeah, we have to remember that. I could never do something like protest outside an abortion clinic like some of the fanatics do, because imagine the hell that some people have been through long before they ever got the courage to walk through that door.

-people shouldn't have to know. It's a woman's business.
Wonderful point *g* Us women deserve to have our business!
greenpizzazz6
Mar. 15th, 2007 12:30 am (UTC)
That's good. I really don't see what the problem is with the church and birth control. More like man control, if you ask me
lol...how true!

the more difficult choices will have to be made.
That's completely right. Each advance brings more changes, more difficult choices, more variety, but more difficulty.

I guess I'd be in favour of much better adoption strategies.
I think I would too. I mean, everyone's life has some sort of purpose, some sort of meaning.

I could never do something like protest outside an abortion clinic like some of the fanatics do, because imagine the hell that some people have been through long before they ever got the courage to walk through that door.
Yeah, I can't imagine ever doing that to a person. When I see protests like that, I feel sick to my stomach.

Us women deserve to have our business!
Exactly!
natesmountain
Mar. 15th, 2007 03:13 am (UTC)
-That's completely right. Each advance brings more changes, more difficult choices, more variety, but more difficulty
Yeah, there will be more and more choices to be made about babies, planning of babies, with options to 'shop for the best baby' IVF wise, all that genetic tweaking. The possibilities are scary without the right legislation in place to protect human rights and the dignity of the human being.
sheaj34
Mar. 14th, 2007 01:50 pm (UTC)
Sorry
Sorry to hear of your loss. Our family are going through a hard time at the moment too. An elderly relative died yesterday, he too had been ill with cancer. Today my sister has flown out to Spain to be with my Mum as my Mum's husband is also very ill. Lots of sadness in the world today.
On the abortion issue, it is a difficult subject, and no wonder you can't say how you would feel about it. Dealing with the issues around such a subject is always difficult. I had a twin pregnancy terminated in 2000 and it just makes me feel even more now that it is a difficult subject. It's good in a society that we can openly discuss things though. Sending you hugs from the UK. At least the sun is shining, the spring flowers are in bloom too, which ends on that happier not of celebrating life.
natesmountain
Mar. 14th, 2007 07:10 pm (UTC)
Re: Sorry
Oh, I'm sorry you are facing sadness over there, I will be thinking of you from here.

-Dealing with the issues around such a subject is always difficult
I'll say. It used to be harder to raise those issues back in my other LJ. As if it wasn't right to have an opinion one way or the other, if your opinion wasn't the cool one, and mine rarely is *g*. Thanks heaps for sharing here, and I think it's really good that we can openly discuss things with hopefully no one getting hurt.
- I had a twin pregnancy terminated in 2000
That must have been really hard for you, gosh. I don't think it can ever be an easy decision, no matter what you might believe in.

And I didn't even address the notion of abortion because the mother's life is in danger, did I...

Spring in the UK is indeed lovely (we don't really get that here!)
And many *hugs* to you too for this week!
sheaj34
Mar. 14th, 2007 10:39 pm (UTC)
Re: Sorry
Well, I think it is great that all your friends on here are able to discuss things together. That's how we learn more about what we really believe.
natesmountain
Mar. 14th, 2007 10:47 pm (UTC)
Re: Sorry
-Well, I think it is great that all your friends on here are able to discuss things together
Me, too, I think it's great here. We're not judging one another, we're just sharing our thoughts and feelings, and that isn't always easy, either! I really appreciate a good discussion, and it's wonderful if we can trust one another enough to talk. And we don't any of us necessarily have the most right answers in the world, we just have our own answers, huh.
vivh
Mar. 14th, 2007 06:58 pm (UTC)
So sorry to hear the news, love and prayers to you all, I am short of time just now, but wanted to let you know I'm thinking of you...
natesmountain
Mar. 14th, 2007 07:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks, I appreciate that, have a great day!
hannahfmuk
Mar. 14th, 2007 09:49 pm (UTC)
I'm really sorry for your loss.

As for the rest of what you said... it was an interesting read. You mention not being okay with abortions because of the "beating heart" - I hope you don't mind me asking, but what do you think of the morning after pill? Because technically I guess that's a kind of abortion, although it's at a stage where the only thing being aborted is a couple of dozen cells.
natesmountain
Mar. 14th, 2007 10:01 pm (UTC)
- I hope you don't mind me asking, but what do you think of the morning after pill? Because technically I guess that's a kind of abortion, although it's at a stage where the only thing being aborted is a couple of dozen cells.

Well deep inside I agree with the idea that it is a kind of abortion. And it's interesting that you ask that, because I really don't know what to think about the morning after pill. I know it would probably be frowned upon by the church *snort* and I wonder how it works exactly - does it kill what has already joined, or is working on joining, I mean, how fast does the impregnation take place, and has the 'cell cluster' landed in the womb yet? Those are questions I guess I ought to answer for myself! But it's so soon, the 'morning after', and yet, yeah, it is life in a really weird way... so I'm pretty mixed up about that. My answer was not to have sex before marriage LOL! So I never had to find out for myself. I do have a daughter though, so I guess I need to be as well informed as possible, huh.

What do you think?

Oh and nice icon *g* /runs off to find WaT icon/
hannahfmuk
Mar. 14th, 2007 10:14 pm (UTC)
Yay for your WaT icon! And I've emailed my reply to the rest of your answer (hope you don't mind me doing that!)
natesmountain
Mar. 14th, 2007 10:31 pm (UTC)
- I've emailed my reply to the rest of your answer (hope you don't mind me doing that!)
Of course I don't mind, and that was a good idea indeed ;) and thanks.

And that's another cool icon! Mmm!
-Yay for your WaT icon!
Yeah, I forgot I had some of those stored away!
moth2fic
Mar. 15th, 2007 06:40 pm (UTC)
So sorry about your friend's death.

A lot of abortions wouldn't be needed if birth control was more available and better understood!

I have no personal experience of abortion in my immediate circle but two incidents were brought back to me by your post.

A colleague died because she didn't agree with abortion. She had cancer and the surgeons warned her that treating the cancer would affect the foetus so she refused treatment. She left a devastated husband and a new baby and another child.

A friend's daughter was pregnant and the baby died in the uterus. When she and her husband went to the ward where it was to be removed they were greeted as the couple needing the abortion. They explained the 'error' and were told it was an abortion anyway.

I'm not making a judgement of any kind. Of anyone. I always thought I could never have an abortion. But that's an 'easy' thing to say.

An interesting post!
natesmountain
Mar. 15th, 2007 08:31 pm (UTC)
-A lot of abortions wouldn't be needed if birth control was more available and better understood!
Ooh yes indeedy!

-I'm not making a judgement of any kind. Of anyone. I always thought I could never have an abortion. But that's an 'easy' thing to say.
Well, I think we should be able to try to talk about it without anyone assuming we are making judgements, huh. Otherwise, we are just arguing. And judging!

-. She left a devastated husband and a new baby and another child.
I think the situation where the mother's life is in danger, that's really really hard. I would tend to favour the mother over someone who hasn't lived a life yet, and at the same time, that sounds hypocritical because that foetus is alive... yikes! Still, if I had to choose between Steve and a baby I didn't know yet, I'd choose Steve, I think I'd have to choose him. My best friend when I was growing up, her mother had leukaemia, and the doctors wanted her to abort her third pregnancy. She refused. She had the baby but was ill on and off for a long time afterwards. She finally died a couple of days after that baby's seventh birthday.
-the baby died in the uterus. When she and her husband went to the ward where it was to be removed they were greeted as the couple needing the abortion.
That would be hard. I think if you have to terminate because of a death, it shouldn't be called abortion, should it? We never called them that at the private hospital where I used to work the front desk, we just called them all D&C but my mother whispered to me one time that some of those were abortions, we just never said so. I think it was very illegal back then.

-An interesting post!
Thanks, and thanks for sharing your thoughts here!

moth2fic
Mar. 16th, 2007 06:32 pm (UTC)
Apparently the technical term when animals reject a dead or severely deformed foetus is 'spontaneous abortion' so presumably some hospitals use the term too. Miscarriage is also, apparently, a euphemism and should be referred to as abortion. At which point the statistics would be extremely hard to interpret.
natesmountain
Mar. 16th, 2007 07:50 pm (UTC)
Well, I think it might be time to come up with some new terminology. Something less weighted towards the negative for those who really need support and care and understanding.
moth2fic
Mar. 19th, 2007 11:01 am (UTC)
The good news is that my friend's daughter, after two death-in-utero experiences, has just given birth to a healthy baby boy.
natesmountain
Mar. 19th, 2007 11:19 am (UTC)
-after two death-in-utero experiences, has just given birth to a healthy baby boy.
Well, that's brilliant. She is very brave to have kept on trying. Hooray for a healthy baby!
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

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