The Dalles To the editor:
Death and dying today occur more often in a medical location or in a care facility. Those present are usually medical or other staff so that most people have never viewed life’s last moments when the body loses its life force, dies and becomes lifeless.
In ages past, families and good friends actually gathered around the death bed and many witnessed the person’s passage from life. Over time, human experience came to a consensus to recognize the departing life force as the person’s “immortal or eternal soul.”
The advent of modern humans is often dated from the time when food, weapons, and favored items began to be buried with the dead body. Many scientists considered the custom to imply the belief in an afterlife. That idea has also been interpreted to include the concept of a creator-god.
In our modern, fast-paced world, most of us lack the opportunity of the end-of-life observation mentioned earlier. In the lives we live today, we have countless concerns and so many dazzling attractions that too easily distract us from considering our own dying. Some say we, as individuals and a society, are actually in a state of denial regarding the reality that we each will one day die.
We may help improve the quality of our culture and raise the level of our individual relationships by taking a closer look at values which really matter most in the long run: faith, hope, love, gratitude, and especially honesty.
Rediscover and honor the soul. We each have only one and it is forever.