Archive for November, 2016

ON DEATH AND DYING

Sunday, November 27th, 2016

Nov. 28, 2016.

Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross published a book with that title in 1969. It made something of a splash. She based her findings on a series of interviews with patients near death at a Univ. of Chicago hospital. She claimed most of them went through five stages in this order—denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

Some claim these same five stages also apply to: children of divorced parents; breakup of amorous relationships; the death of a loved one; substance addiction; as well as dying. Kübler-Ross wrote that all do not go through them in the same order but all did go through at least two of the stages, and some “roller-coasting” between two, before going to a third. Women are more likely than men to go through all five.

It should be noted that Dr. Kübler-Ross has been doubted heavily criticized by many psychologists for both her interview method and the fact that she ignores environmental inputs.  One input she ignored was pain Recently, for instance, I have and quite of pain (at the 9-10  level) from a broken hip fall and subsequent repair at the  VA hospital. Not fun.

Hillary gave a gracious concession speech but some of her Progressiive-GHreen supporters) remain bitter and not that generous. David Remnick, editor of the liberal New Yorker for instance, wrote that Trump’s election was An American Tragedy, “On Jan. aNUJn JJJ20, 2017, we will bid farewell to the first African-American President—a man of integrity, dignity, and generous spirit—and witness the inauguration of a con who did little to spurn endorsement by forces of xenophobia and white supremacy. It is impossible to react to this moment with anything less than revulsion and profound anxiety.” I agree with Remnick about Obama, but I prefer Paul Ryan’s take on the Donald. (Ryan refused to campaign with Trump because of Trump’s problems with women). Ryan pointed out that Trump heard voices that most in the media, political and celebrity worlds have simply ignored them..

Hillary’s concession speech was a mixed bag. I note that she did claim that her followers were,  “for people of all races and religions, for men and women, for immigrants, for LGBT people, and people with disabilities.” Which does imply at least that her opponents were racists, sexists, LBGT haters, and opposed to equality, —and every other nasty thing that David Remnick suggested.  It’s true some Trump supporters may fit that description, but not all. Some libertarians, like me, simply have different ideas how to help blacks, LBGTs, and bring the blessings of equality— of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to all citizens—and don’t think the present clergy is all it’s cracked up to be.

I don’t really blame Hillary. She had to blame someone for the enormity of her loss after so much encouragement and support from the polls and media. (The Wall Street Journal wrote that money could not be the culprit. Despite Democratic criticism of the Supreme Court Citizens United ruling Hillary actually got 89% of her money from corporation and union PACS! Far more than Donald Trump got.)

I have to respect any politician who runs for any office. It takes an enormous amount of intelligence, time, money, energy, charm, and “chutzpah.” This definitely includes Hillary and her husband Bill (though as I said in my last blog I do have to wonder how she and Bill got to be such rich multi-millionaires working all their lives for the government or non-profit charities like the  Clinton Foundation.)

As to the stages, Hillary and her many fans must suffer from “roller-coasting” between denial and anger. Hillary did win the popular vote and led many young people to protest in many cities including my Madison. Now it’s up to election-winner, Trump, to “drain the Washington swamp.” I don’t envy him. He will have many headaches. He ran against the establishment “clergy” and that’s why he got my support. The clergy—especially the education, media, government bureaucracy, and entertainment branches—will not give up easily.

Getting back to the main subject, Jane and I are as near death as we want to be. I came close this recent fall! We talk about it often and have had home hospice evaluations. Jane is more accepting. I seem to “roller-coast’ between the denial and the anger stages with a bit of depression thrown in. The denial comes mostly in my dreams. I am young enough in my dreams to play a mean game of tennis and ski and ice-skate superbly. I can walk and even run again, make love to Jane again, and just last night I got very excited about remodeling our third-floor apartment in order to make a movie there starring Jane and I. Then I wake up and get angry at my feeble body which can’t even climb  the stairs to our third floor!

This all leaves me depressed.

I talked with my doctor and PT trainer at the VA Hospital about this “roller-coasting” and their response was sensible if not particularly original. Face up to the reality that you are 90 years old and relax. You really just can’t do the things you used to do. Maybe you should even consider some kind of mild anti-depressant pill along with the pain pills.

I plan to take their advice.

Bill Stonebarger, Owner/President Hawkhill

P.S. The new book, Bill’s Blogs is now finished and is now listed on Amazon at a modest price.