Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Saving grace heals the pains

I noticed the expression above in Cold Case (ie, Se3, Ep7), a crime-drama TV series rated 7.6 in IMDb. This unfamiliar expression raised my curiosity right away. A saving grace is “something positive in an otherwise bad situation”. Hence, the addition “heals the pains”.

My friend’s recent death (see my blog) fits the expression above. I’m relieved that his suffering – and the loss of his dignity – has ended. Indeed, saving grace heals the pains.

To some extent, the expression above is similar to every cloud has a silver lining and the saying by (soccer player) Johan Cruijff that every disadvantage has its advantage. However, these sayings sound too opportunistic in case of a death. In our view, death is negative; and rarely positive.

In 2016, my friend Joan passed away at the age of 54. In her case, the expression did – and still does – not help me in accepting her death. I just fail to understand the Why. Neither did she. Early June 2016, she asked me: What is the purpose of death? I wrote a blog on her question.

In both deaths, there was a saving grace (ie, end of suffering). However, I just cannot believe that Joan had a life that was fulfilled. In my view, her death was premature in every respect. Do I blame someone or something? No. My intelligence is just insufficient for understanding her death.

Our understanding of a (major) change in our lives often results in our acceptance. Not understanding such change may lead to denial, anger, bargaining and depression, the four steps in processing grief before the fifth and final step of acceptance.

I still fail to understand Joan’s death but I believe in the Sumerian view on our afterlife (eg, source). Our soul – or the zaqiqu in Akkadian / Sumerian language – will travel and live on. Hence, this allows me to accept death as a part of life. In other words, we will meet again.

For those who lack my beliefs, I recommend reading the philosophical and/or risk management argument by Blaise Pascal (1623-1663), a French mathematician, philosopher, physicist, and theologian:

“Pascal argues that a rational person should live as though God exists and seek to believe in God. If God does not exist, such a person will have only a finite loss (some pleasures, luxury, etc.), whereas if God does exist, he stands to receive infinite gains (as represented by eternity in Heaven) and avoid infinite losses (an eternity in Hell).”

Pascal’s wager

Saving Grace (1980) by Bob Dylan (b.1941)
artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-artist, Wiki-album+song

I’ve escaped death so many times, I know I’m only living
By the saving grace that’s over me

Note: all markings (bolditalic and underlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.


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