We lost a friend todaySubmitted by Jefferson on Sun, 07/21/2013 - 12:26
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.