Most victims of catastrophic illness will declare themselves determined to fight their affliction with a combination of courage, faith and positive thinking. When this approach eventually fails (as is so often the case), their friends and loved ones invariably eulogize the deceased as possessing those qualities in admirable measure, but unfortunately not in sufficient abundance to circumvent the imagined will of an imagined god.
I have no such courage, faith or positive thought. Neither do I have the reportedly comforting benefit of a personal god to assist me in the tedious process toward permanent departure from this realm of the living.
There will be poisoning therapies with excellent prospects of failure. There will be future forays into other, equally dubious forms of treatment which both body and mind are ill-equipped to endure. The end will come as it comes to us all.
Only humankind has the ability (and the arrogance) to invent glorious heavens beyond death’s portal; golden-hued paradises where pain, despair and misery are forgotten and diaphonous-winged angels (all comely virgins, no doubt) dance on clouds in unfettered abandon.
It is an alluring promise conveyed by religion peddlers the world over. But it is no more than that — a promise wrought solely from the quills of ancient, self-appointed prophets plagiarizing their predecessors’ rudimentary hogwash for eager consumption by ignorant and superstitious societies.
One may speak of courage, but the truly courageous are those who face their existence head on, with all its pain, anguish and inherent uncertainty. Am I therefore courageous? Not at all.
But I am, necessarily, working on it. Sure beats supplication.