« Science is repeatable. Religions aren't. | Main | Why it makes no sense to ask for evidence that God doesn't exist »

October 02, 2021


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Very sorry for your loss. 😔

Lynn and her family were very fortunate she didn’t have to suffer. It’s rather unusual these days… the advances in medicine have been able to prolong people’s lives quite considerably but at what cost? There’s a time to be born, a time to die.

"Yet when death comes, most of us fear the suffering that often accompanies a person's last days more than dying itself. "

.......Speaking for myself, the former is the *only* thing I would, well, fear, be uncomfortable about, whatever. The latter would be something to look forward to, with curiosity, maybe with some degree of excitement, to find out what might come after --- while fully expecting nothingness, cessation.


"That's why Lynn had a good death. To die in your sleep while on a romantic getaway with your spouse -- that's a fine way to say goodbye to life. (...) No suffering. No lengthy period of physical decline. (...) To be alive one moment and dead the next, without a lengthy string of moments in-between marked by fear, anxiety, regret, or other negative emotions that afflict many dying people, that's a very good death."

.......Absolutely, it was every bit a "good death". We should all be so lucky.

RIP, I guess --- speaking figuratively, not literally.


(Incidentally, we might do well to build up a vocabulary of terms that reflect an absence of superstitions and blind faith in such things "resting in peace", and the many other theistic terms that we keep using "figuratively". ....Until we do, though, I suppose we can keep using these cliches. Although cliches, although meaningless, nevertheless long usage does lend terms like these a certain gravitas, a certain appropriate-ness. No doubt any new terms we fashioned would sound superficial and frivolous, at least to begin with, and at least when speaking of such things as death.)

"It’s rather unusual these days… the advances in medicine have been able to prolong people’s lives quite considerably but at what cost?"

.......That's a very insightful observation, Sonia. Very true, the greatly enhanced longevity that is the blessing that modern medical science has given to us, sometimes does turn out to be a curse.

My girlfriend's father passed away a few years ago, after a few months of ....well, cutting-edge treatment would be one way of describing it, but another and perhaps more apt description would be, quite simply, 'torture'.

Absolutely, I'd say it's far far preferable to go out without suffering and while still in full possession of one's faculties and one's dignity, rather than somehow add some months or even some years at the cost of ...well, the term "quality of life" sums it up I suppose.

But of course, that's an individual decision. Someone else may well prefer life at any cost to death, and of course, no one else is qualified to pronounce what is right or not for oneself, in this context.

So that the answer, I suppose, is to go in for a living will.

Thank you for sharing this somewhat personal but beautiful message with us. It is a privilege to be let into your family's heartache.The sadness of this event is spectacularly overshadowed by its profundity. There's nothing fortunate about losing a loved one you'd rather keep, but if it just had to happen, this is a most blessed version. I'm sorry for Laurel's loss of her sister Lynn, and very sorry for Randy's loss of his wife, as well as the accompanying shock and the sorrow (and irony) of checking out from a romantic trip alone. Sending lots of love to Randy and family. 💟

@Appreciative Reader,

A living will is a smart move. Not sure anyone wants to be kept alive in a vegetative state, or one where the quality of life can best be described as “torture”. But that’s what we often end up doing to our loved ones because we can’t bear to let them go. Sometimes we hold on to people selfishly.

I’m very happy for Lynn, sorry for Laurel and Randy. However, the manner in which she died will hopefully give them a little bit of peace. We should all be so lucky.

You’re not going to appreciate this very much, but I usually feel a strange sense of peace when someone passes. It feels as if the doors to heaven have opened and I get to experience it for a little while as I think about the one who has passed. There have been some exceptions though. Like when my maternal grandmother died (I’m convinced she hung around a little while just to see who showed up at the funeral), and when my paternal grandfather died I didn’t feel anything at all. My grandmother was a saint. My grandfather wasn’t. He might still be haunting the basement of their old house… And then when my brother’s best friend committed suicide last year I felt immense sadness for weeks. It came as an absolute shock to everyone. He didn’t have a history of depression and didn’t leave a note. I’d known him since he was a kid. Just total shock.

Anyway, I feel good about Lynn… if that helps. :)

What happens when we die -

a monologue from Netflix's Midnight Mass


What happens when we die -

a monologue from Netflix's Midnight Mass


Posted by: Solomon | October 03, 2021 at 06:50 PM

Wow. Perfectly said.

Hi Brian,

Turning up late but thanks for this beautiful post. I'm glad it was a "good death"!

We may fundamentally disagree ideologically, but knowing you mentioned having netflix, I imagine you may appreciate this and it's easily accessible:


Whilst the whole season of Midnight Gospel is great, I'm referring to the final episode 8. This was probably the most moving and beautiful audio-visual depiction on/of the subject of birth, life, death, grief, love, compassion etc I have ever seen, very highly recommended.

Whilst it is a "psychedelic" cartoon (beautifully rendered, imo), it is actually real audio of Duncan Trussell speaking with his mum, who is dying of cancer at the time. Absolutely beautiful.

I would be interested in how you find it, critical or not - it's been more than a year since I saw this, but I would imagine it would be hard to not be moved by it, whatever your beliefs.......

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)


  • Welcome to the Church of the Churchless. If this is your first visit, click on "About this site--start here" in the Categories section below.
  • HinesSight
    Visit my other weblog, HinesSight, for a broader view of what's happening in the world of your Church unpastor, his wife, and dog.
  • BrianHines.com
    Take a look at my web site, which contains information about a subject of great interest to me: me.
  • Twitter with me
    Join Twitter and follow my tweets about whatever.
  • I Hate Church of the Churchless
    Can't stand this blog? Believe the guy behind it is an idiot? Rant away on our anti-site.