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We lost a friend today

After almost 6 years here, I've come to know some of you as my extended family. The DP has been many things to me over the years. Most importantly it has been a source of therapy to be able to write out my thoughts and feelings and have a sounding board from like minded people.

I guess I should start by telling you about our friend. He and his family live a couple of houses down in our neighborhood. Most everyone in the immediate vicinity is considered a friend, as that is just the way our family is. We believe that it is important to have (or at least try to have) strong relationships with your neighbors, as you never know when you might need each other. We gather frequently on holidays and other occasions since everyone enjoys each others' company.

From the moment Dave was introduced to our family and friends, he was genuinely curious about who everyone was and what their relationships were to each other. He made it a point to try and spend time with each and every person in an attempt to try and get to know them better. He was so full of life and enjoyed every day as a blessing. He seemed to have such a picture perfect life. He had a loving wife, a successful career, and a beautiful daughter who is now in an ivy league college, and a former Nationally ranked tennis champion. In all the years we've known them, we've never seen any strife in their family. And, if there ever was, I'm sure it was dealt with in the most loving and faithful way possible. They were truly a modern day "Leave it to Beaver" family. I know that may sound strange or even a little creepy to some, but that is just how they were. Always happy, jovial, caring, and most importantly genuine. You literally could not ask for better neighbors and friends. They would give the shirts off their backs if they could.

So, around July 1st we were told that they were going out of town to the Dallas area. We weren't told much more than that. We gladly accepted responsibility for their home and the care of their dog while they were away. We know they would have done (and have done) the same for us.
Yesterday, out of the blue, I'm told that "Dave is dead." Here was a perfectly healthy, happy, successful, and relatively young father and husband, who is now dead and gone. No funeral, no memorial service, nothing. He was cremated and that's it. None of us knew anything was wrong, so you can imagine the shock, grief, and confusion we are all going through.
I still don't know many of the details other than it may have started with an insect bite on his back.

Dave and his wife were/are what are called "Christian Scientists". I don't know much about the practice except that they believe that healing can occur through faith and prayer. (I'm sure there must be more to it) They apparently had been at some sort of Christian Science healing center this whole time until his death. Their daughter was not allowed to come and visit because I assume they did not want her to see him in this condition. To top it all off, his wife who is also a "practitioner", will be spending the next 2 weeks teaching a class on this subject. I can't imagine what must be going through her mind right now.

Even though I was baptised, raised, and married in the Orthodox Christian church, I am no longer a practicing member. My life experiences have left me somewhere between faithful and agnostic. I do not have any ill feelings toward the church, and am very careful to not be disrespectful of someone else's faith. If that is what works for them and they are happy with it and it causes no one else any harm, then I am fine with it. How could one not be?

But, at what point does faith become harmful? This is the question I am left with after experiencing the news of Dave's death and the giant hole that is left in all of our lives. Maybe I'm not evolved enough spiritually to understand how someone can be SO ROCK SOLID in their faith, as to not even CONSIDER a 2nd opinion.

I was injured in a motocross accident and damaged by inexperienced doctors when I was younger. I have had over 25 years experience dealing with incompetent doctors, nurses, hospitals, and other so called "health care" facilities. Needless to say, I'm not a big fan of western medicine and how it's become dominated by the Big Pharma cartels. That being said, these facilities DO have the capability to diagnose illness. Sure, sometimes they get it wrong, but they get it right a lot of the time, and it at LEAST gives a person a starting point when faced with an illness or injury.

After a couple of weeks of no progress in trying to treat whatever this was, I just can't understand how someone could not at LEAST reach out to the medical community for a diagnosis. How can someone look at their lives they've built, and realize that they are going to possibly miss out on so many things in trade for their faith.

Please forgive my anger and confusion. I am not attacking the Christian faith. I guess I'm just not in a place where I can understand a decision like this. When I think of his poor wife and daughter who have to go back to that home that he built, a home that was such a reflection of his personality, it makes me sick to my stomach to think that this could have possibly been treated with an antibiotic or something else natural.

I'm told that in the brief discussion with Dave's wife yesterday, she used the words "celebrate life." If there is any lesson to be learned from this, it must be to "celebrate life" and the small moments that it consists of. Because you never know when it will all change in an instant.

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Dear Dave

I hope your faith yet sustains you. However, not all are strong, not all can have faith. The rest of your family will find it hard to believe that a benevolent being would put them to such a stern test.

Is even a moment of pain and misery worth it? Is even a shred of separation worthwhile?

We may only be flesh, but as long as that flesh breathes, it can touch, it can feel, it can love and it can rejoice. Now the sweet rhythm of your breath has left your home and cannot return except in phantom memories.

May you find what you sought so keenly in life, that even when the path led through the gates of death you did not break your stride.


A lot of us did not know about the intrusion of govt. in our lives till it touched our lives in some way. Let this incident teach you this.

Science does not have all the answers.
Answers come from data.
As we wake and sleep and eat, gargantuan electronic minds are assimilating and analysing trillions of packets of information.
The answers will come. If not today, then tomorrow.

Some answers we do know well. We should pay more heed to those answers and to the 'priests' who can pray to their gods and attain them.

It is not possible to know, or understand everything. Those who have immersed themselves in medical studies will have better answers than anyone else. They have prayed at the altar a lot longer than you.

Trust your doctor. If you are sick, go to him. Do what he says unless you feel it is doing more harm than good. Seek alternative medicine and techniques only after you have taken a second opinion or a third.

Sounds as though

he was a lucky man to have you as a friend and neighbor . I'm sorry about your loss . His wife and family will probably look to you at times for help and you sound like just the guy to step up for them. may peace be with both you and them.


My heartfelt sympathy to you for your loss.

I am going through a challenging situation with my 85 year old neighbor Ellen whom I have taken to the ER twice in the last four months. She is not religious and is relying on the medical community for her basic health maintenance. I am thankful for the physicians, but it has been frustrating for me to observe an emphasis on meds vs. a longer term get well program. I love Ellen as a friend, but we think differently about lifestyles when it comes to spiritual prayer and healing, alternative medicine, diet, etc; I have had to let go of my own beliefs to respect her indulgences and preferences. I am forgiving Ellen and replacing frustration with peaceful acceptance in her healing, however she chooses to seek it. I hope you find a sense of forgiveness and peace with respect to your neighbor.

Just my opinion.

So it's not enough that this fine man, who would have done anything, anything, for you and your family, was so good all the time. No, he had to have your values and way of seeing illness and health, too. He was a package, Jefferson. Please consider that the things you loved about him were there only because his "flaws" (mindless belief in an unusual religion) where there.

By the way, it is not right for anyone to be so damn good all the time. We need to be smart, too. Yin & Yang. That is what, in my opinion, God wants of us. But so many of us think we can be saved by our goodness alone.

I believe most people want to pass

on their own terms, not one set by a friend, or even a best friend. We are a diverse group of people. It's not our business to tell anyone how to live or lose their life (eg imposing our will upon others). Suggestions are okay, but only if the person is open to receive them or asks. Most people are able to observe other people's behavior and either mimic or do the opposite.

Losing friends sucks, but we don't get to choose their fate, sometimes even our own. I know more people who have died than those who have been born.

My condolences. I know it hurts. But your friend may be in eternal bliss cradled in the womb/heart of the universe and you may never know what took him out. Truth will come once we take our final breath.

Yes, indeed.

Your comment is beautiful, DFarrell.

Orthodox Christian church

Jefferson, I've been considering attending the Orthodox Christian Church and wonder what it was about the church that you did not like. Through my research, it seems it is one of the oldest?

Cyril's picture

Sincere condolences. I'm sorry to read about your loss.

Sincere condolences. I'm sorry to read about your loss.

Warm thoughts to your honoring his memory here.

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

We should be so blessed... have thoughtful and caring people around us who have an appreciation of their neighbors as you do.

I'm sorry for your loss, as it sounds like you thought a lot of Dave.

But just because he chose not to see someone about his bug bite or have it treated does NOT mean that you fall short, or aren't "evolved" enough spiritually in God's eyes.

You can't compare your spiritual walk to someone else's.

Interestingly, there is mention in the Bible of oil poured on Jesus that was known for its healing properties*. Jesus did not ask for the oil to stop being put on him.

(*Spikenard essential oil
Properties: Antibiotic, antifungal, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, bactericidal, deodorant, fungicidal, laxative, sedative, tonic )

Also, when the Samaritan came across the man who had been attacked by thieves, he tended to his wounds with oil.

Of the three people to come across the man, it was the Samaritan who was considered the neighbor for the mercy he had shown...and Jesus said to go and do likewise. He did not say go and do everything the Samaritan did for the man EXCEPT treating wounds with oil.

So where is the line drawn when it comes to treatment and faith? I don't know that the answer is going to be the same for everyone.

But one thing I do know is Dave had a good neighbor. ;)

Christian Science

is neither

... sorry for your loss.

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Stand up For your Civil Rights

Agreed. Most of Christian

Agreed. Most of Christian Science is based on a poor understanding of Platonic Realism.

Maybe you've figure this out already, but...

Christian Scientists reject many things that might be viewed as common medical intervention. It is my impression that to talk them out of the consequences of this position, would be to talk them out of Christian Science.

I'm not saying I agree with their position, and I'm certainly not an adherent of their religion, but I can see some sense in the rejection of many common medical interventions too. In fact, some of the decisions I have made may lead to my "early" death in the eyes of some. Those are decisions I've made, some people won't understand them, and I can understand not wanting to argue the point---though I'm sure I may have to if it comes to that.

Sometimes it's difficult to know what to do to help people, but if you want people like that to confide in you, I'd guess it's important for them to think you'll understand their point of view. If, in this case, that means becoming a Christian Scientist, then I guess there's not much to be done. I think I would write something like this to the wife. At least you could offer to help etc.---of course, you know that. Tough situation. Sorry for your loss.

Jefferson's picture


just wanted to sincerely thank everyone who responded to this thread. I would like to respond to each of you individually, but must get to bed in preparation for next week.

Even if I hadn't gotten one response, I still feel better for having the opportunity to write out my thoughts and feelings and just get it off my chest. The heartfelt responses and the wisdom in some of them, was truly a bonus.

Whether you're an Atheist, an Agnostic, or a true believer, I think the lesson that can be learned by all is to enjoy and appreciate the time you have with your loved ones, because life as we know it can change in a literal heartbeat.

Thank you again for the kindness and support.

As a believer

Who has had to say good-bye to some that I loved dearly, including my daughter...
I have to sometimes pull my head out of this world we live in and cling to -- When I recall God's word and His description of Heaven I feel silly that I would cling to this corrupt (as in devolving physically) world -- while resisting the transition to a place of beauty that is beyond my ability to comprehend -- where the Bible says, we'll have perfect bodies typically about the stage of a 30 year old -- forever.

No more pain, no more suffering, no more struggle with human nature.

A beautiful existence that I can only imagine right now.

When I see it in those terms the weight of death leaves me.

The Bible says "Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints." Psalm 116:15.
Precious... He longs to share life directly with us, his beloved creations.
How I get there doesn't matter... a misdiagnosis, a head-on collision with a drunk, or texting fool, whatever...

sorry for your loss

Try to be understanding. Everyone has things that are private to themselves. Perhaps it isn't how you would have chosen to do things but everyone gets to live their own lives. It is called freedom.

Something is fishy about the way that went down

I wouldn't knock someone immersing himself in his religious community in lieu of hospice if he had a bad prognosis.

But it starts getting weird that his condition was kept so quiet, and his death, too. That his widow is expected to teach a class is a cruel expectation. When you review the warning signs of a cult, these abusive work regimens are often part of that.

I don't know anything about Christian Scientists, but that doesn't matter. Cult-like pockets can exist within any religion, just some are more structured for it than others. The element needed is a charismatic central figure and your friend's widow is very vulnerable to whoever that is right now.

There might not be anything you can do about it. If it's a cult and you try to help her, you'll be cut off from contact with her.

Defend Liberty!

Jefferson's picture

I can't

disagree with you. I have the same sinking feeling of what you just expressed.

There is definitely a sense of frustration given that we all (at least we thought) were close, and still nothing was told to us until after he was gone.

One of our neighbors and close friends who lives directly across the street is a Christian AND a doctor. I can't for the life of me understand why they couldn't have at least trusted him. He was close to them as well. It's a tremendous void, not just in his family, but in our little community.

I get the feeling that the members of their "church" were much closer than we were, and the reason we weren't told is because they didn't want interference from people who didn't understand their ways.

Our family just finished signing a sympathy card which was delivered to his widow. It was one of the harder things I've ever had to come up with words for.

I'm so sorry Jefferson, a

I'm so sorry Jefferson, a situation like this leaves one seeking answers, battling frustration, and no real sense of closure... My thoughts are with you in this difficult time.

And let me add that while I

And let me add that while I am not religious, and I certainly share your opinion on the recklessness and dangerous nature of Christian scientists' idea of "health care", perhaps it provided your friend with comfort, hope, peace, and security in ways that modern medicine cannot in his journey onward.

I'm So Sorry Jefferson

I Hope The Peace Of Jesus Christ Comforts Your Soul..


I am very sorry to hear about your loss. Condolences.

Edgar Morgan

There is a trememdous power in prayer, Jefferson.

I've seen what prayer can do that doctors could not do. Christ does heal but, not always here on earth but, in the hereafter. I know that does absolutely nothing to console you or help you accept the unexpected loss of a friend but, I believe it is true.

I also believe that there is a time and place for prayer to be combined with medical doctors and/or natural medicines. Certainly, it was that time for your friend, had his particular faith not gotten in the way.

All I can say is that we each have our own spiritual paths to follow. I have always posted comments on "religious" threads that if a particular path works for you, that's great. Just don't impose it on everybody else. (For that I have been called a witch and worse.) I see you feel the same way about faith.... so apply that to your friend and his wife. That path worked for them on some level deep down. What happens to his family is in God's Hands now and they will believe it is God's Will for them. Who are we to argue? They are fortunate to have such caring neighbors.

Sorry for your loss of a friend. It can really hurt sometimes.

“It is the food which you furnish to your mind that determines the whole character of your life.”
―Emmet Fox


I believe that when it is our time to go, it is our time to go. How we go, when we go, that is the hand of God, no matter what.. incompentant doctors, accidents that didn't have to happen..

I became convinced of this when I met man, who when he was 16 put a rifle in his mouth and blew off the right side of his head. He was in surgery many times and it took him two years before he was released. His parents took him home. He was 18 when he picked up the same rifle and shot off the back of the left side on his head.

It took him about 10 years to recover, he went home, and he showed me his rifle. Why his parents didn't get rid of that rifle, I don't know. He has had many reconstructive surgeries. He's angry as ALL HELL BROKE LOSE, and he goes through life trying to get someone pissed off enough to shoot him.

One reason I am a believer is because I have seen so many miracles.. people who should have died, but they didn't. And like your friend Dave, May God in his mercy, keep him, and bless his family and friends, seemingly senseless deaths.

What you wrote about Dave was not corny, but beautiful. How fortunate all of you are to have known and LOVED Dave. The world is a better place for having him, and now Heaven is a better place.

Peace be with you.

So if a person's time to die is predestined...

what do you have against suicide bombers?

Aaron Russo, Nikola Tesla, Ron Paul, I'm jus' sayin'

I don't know about pre-destination

I don't believe pre-destination has anything to do with it.

I believe that suicide bombing proves the lack of respect and love by Islam for it's children.

What do you think about

What do you think about Robert Pape's research on suicide bombers? I think it disproves the Islam theory that the propaganda here likes to promote.

Not sure why, but your links

Not sure why, but your links don't work..

What does he leave out?

He has done them most in depth analysis of anything I have seen, and it makes sense with human action.

sorry for your loss.

sorry for your loss.