Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Quality of Life (Henri Nouwen) and ramblings

On Monday, my wife and I attended the funeral service of our good neighbour who passed away from cancer. First time attending a non religious based funeral in NZ conducted by a "funeral celebrant" 


Don;t want to blog too much on it except to say that the focus was a "remembrance of her life". And of course as it is usually the case at funerals, it made me reflect again on the subject of "life and death".


So it was timely to get this my email from my Henri Nouwen email list (dated Tuesday)


The Quality of Life 

It is very hard to accept an early death.  When friends die who are seventy, eighty, or ninety years old, we may be in deep grief and miss them very much, but we are grateful that they had long lives.  But when a teenager, a young adult, or a person at the height of his or her career dies, we feel a protest rising from our hearts:  "Why?  Why so soon?  Why so young?  It is unfair."

But far more important than our quantity of years is the quality of our lives.  Jesus died young.  St. Francis died young.  St. Thérèse of Lisieux died young, Martin Luther King, Jr., died young.  We do not know how long we will live, but this not knowing calls us to live every day, every week, every year of our lives to its fullest potential.





Much needed reminder that quality of life is far more important than the quantity of life. 


At the funeral service, a favourite song of my late neighbour was played ... the old classic by Jim Croce (Time in a bottle). Lyrics below and an embedded video from youtube


If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that I'd like to do
Is to save every day 'til eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you

If I could make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true
I'd save every day like a treasure and then
Again, I would spend them with you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do once you find them
I've looked around enough to know
 That you're the one I want to go through time with

If I had a box just for wishes
And dreams that had never come true
The box would be empty except for the memory
Of how they were answered by you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do once you find them
I've looked around enough to know
That you're the one I want to go through time with



1 comment:

  1. The only thing left when you don't have alternative is just to romanticise death. I find it a good ground to ask those around how they reflect during that time.

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