Adonis Diaries

Part One: “When we befriend death”

Posted on: March 15, 2010

Part One: “When we befriend death”; (Mar. 15, 2010)

            Pierre is never afraid; he is also a fix it all at home and at his laboratory: he is a physicist in solid states.  Once, the very ancient water burner (or boiler) lacked a spare part that the manufacturer stopped producing; Pierre fabricating it and the boiler got a new life for over 10 years. Another time, his car gas pump broke down on the highway; Pierre attached an empty plastic water bottle by his window, removed a few (totally unnecessary tubes from the engine) and connected the gas directly to the engine or something to that effect. Pierre is taking to his grandfather.

            The grandfather needed a new pair of trousers and he started from scratch.  He manufactured a weaving machine, weaved the threads, then cut and sewed himself a pair of trousers.  The grandmother had this to say “the entire process is fine; the trousers are to be desired.”

            Pierre was for social justice and a staunch far left Trotskyite in school; he still is an activist for social justice with a twist: as he started secondary studies he believed that he had a powerful ally in Jesus.  Curious Pierre had met with a group of practicing Catholics called “Focolari”.  He applied the concept of loving his neighbor and in his case it was finding ways to loving his teachers.  It dawned on Pierre to attend seriously to classes as his notion of loving teachers; his grades improved greatly though he persisted on not studying at home.

            Pierre was never afraid in childhood and he was even less afraid in middle age: he believed that after death he will enjoy a listening ear in Jesus and aid better his family and friends.  When Pierre looks sick and his wife is terribly worried he would say “Don’t you worry; I’ll pray for you” meaning that his new location by Jesus will take care of everything.

            At the age of 53, Pierre had a stroke but was conscious all the time.  As he was carried to emergency he saw his second son standing bare footed and told him “Bruno, wear your slippers.”  This curious researcher was having a field day witnessing all the maneuvers and equipments being used to re-animate him: Pierre was asking plenty of questions for detailed comprehension of this new opportunity to learn.  When Pierre recovered his son Bruno cracked this joke “Can you imagine if you died there and then what people would have retained as your last words? Bruno, wear your slippers! You certainly can do better next time”

            Pierre is suffering from a terrible backache; as a scientist Pierre reviewed medical journals, analyzed the data of his medical file and understood that he has a generalized bone cancer; Pierre also knew that it is incurable though physicians never explicitly revealed his illness: the bones formed a Christmas tree shape. Pierre studied the authorized medicines, the secondary effects, and the statistics. Pierre asked his physician to cooperate with him as partner in the procedures and treatments. The debate was: “who is in charge to decide on the treatments? Is it the physician or the patient?”  The physician position is that death does not exist and it is his responsibility to heal the patient. Pierre begs to differ. (To be continued)

Note: Sylvie Garoche wrote a book on her husband’s fight for stopgap measures (taking charge of his destiny and dying peacefully)

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March 2010

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