File spoon-archives/phillitcrit.archive/phillitcrit_1998/phillitcrit.9809, message 36


Date: Wed, 30 Sep 1998 19:24:09 -0400
Subject: Re: PLC: Generic equivalent


George wrote that "All jesting (well maybe not _all all_) aside death is a
matter of
definition."

And a strange definition at that.  A few weeks ago, my father died holding
my hand.  Roughly 15 seconds before he died (judging relative to the
attending nurse) I KNEW he was dead.  Something that was there, now was
gone.  From my point of view it created the impression that something had
fled.  How to see beneath that metaphor! 

This KNOWLEDGE of a loved one's passing may merely be, by George's
criteria, a more convoluted matter of definition. Maybe in the hours
leading up to his death, I lapsed into a state of mind ruled by ultimate
things.  In other words, I may have been unconsciously anticipating his
demise (through some sort of rehearsal mechanism of the mind) and would
assign finality to any given moment.  If he had died an hour earlier, I
would have been disposed to mythologize that moment. 

It's a fancy analytic possibility but it's wrong.  I know from direct
experience: something was there one moment and gone the next.  Whether it
"fled" is moot, but it is gone.

Regards,
Eric Yost


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