On Life, Death, and Planet Janet…

In last week’s post  I raised the very difficult question of our increasing medically-expedited longevity  – and the ethical, moral and economic issues it is bringing along with it. The post produced some very interesting responses, this one from USA commenter Gaye Mack being one of them:

“When I was in grad school I had to take an ethics course and our single grade was based on a 5 minute presentation. I presented myself as Hippocrates arguing in front of the Supreme Court on this issue pointing out that my oath of ‘first do no harm’ could also be applied to the concept that to extend life beyond a reasonable means for the patient and family– emotionally, physically and FINANCIALLY, was in fact, ‘doing harm’…”

Fragment of the Hippocratic Oath
Fragment of the Hippocratic Oath

Just as I was facing up to my own and my husband’s demise, and we were about to embark upon completing the relevant medical and legal forms, I  had a conversation on the subject with my dear friend Peggy. In her mid eighties, she is still amazingly active, enjoys life, and continues to be a wonderful support to other people as well as a shining example to those of us coming behind her regarding how we should grow older. Peggy, of course refuses to be complimented – “Away with you!!” is her usual retort.

I recorded our conversation, which is quite short, and have Peggy’s permission to share it. It has the usual mix of Peggy’s and my conversations: a rich mix of grave seriousness, black humour, and sheer irreverence.Here it is. I do hope you can make time to listen, and leave your responses – to continue the dialogue on the topic of how we face and deal with death and dying in the 21st Century.

Anne and Peggy on Life, Death and Planet Janet

Grim Reaper
Grim Reaper

300 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2015
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page


4 thoughts on “On Life, Death, and Planet Janet…

  1. Hi Anne, I am gearing up to write more posts and found you via the WordPress reader. Your conversation with Peggy was delightful, and your comments about the increasing evidence for a continuance of consciousness is one of the aspects of the life and death journey that I am particularly interested in, as my father has come to me several times since his passing, as have others. I am writing to you from Portland, Oregon, and so glad I found you. Kathryn F. Weymouth, PhD

    1. Hello Kathryn it’s 7.35 am here in Scotland and I’ve got up early to catch up on my admin – what a lovely surprise to ‘meet’ you! Yes, my friend Peggy is a real treasure and I am so glad to know her. I am thinking of adding another post next week to this series – featuring Jung’s most interesting and affirming thoughts on the continuation of consciousness after death. I am a sceptical person – in the open-minded, NOT the reductionist sense of the word as it is usually used these days – but my actual experiences have led me to conclude that consciousness is a property of the universe, to which our brains ‘tune us in’, as it were. In my memoir ‘Wisps from the Dazzling Darkness’: http://anne-whitaker.com/wisps-from-the-dazzling-darkness/: I describe striking experiences I have had regarding apparent communication from beyond death…do send me your link and I will certainly check out your posts!

  2. Hi Anne, I tried to respond yesterday and my computer wouldn’t cooperate for some reason, so trying again. I have recently finished an update on my professional website, and a new blog post is almost ready to go, which appears along the right hand side of my site. When that is ready I will send you the web address. There is information on the site about my book, and I will soon have a separate author website, as well. My dad, who died in 1987, has communicated with me several times over the years, and it’s his messages to me that kept me motivated to write What Obituaries Don’t Tell You: Conversations About Life and Death, which was published a couple of years ago. You can read quite a bit of it on Amazon.com if you are interested.

    I’m very happy to have found you and will most certainly follow your blogs.


  3. Hi Kathryn
    I replied to this comment last week – I thought – but it seems to have got lost. I’ve had a look at your book which really does look interesting, and have added a link to the title in your comment so that people can go directly through to look at it. Keep me posted re your website!

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