Somewhere I read an interesting statement that put my mind in question about the aging process. “We are living in a time where we might actually have to choose to die.” We can get our joints and organs replaced, get new limbs or aids for seeing and hearing, and even stay alive with dozens of pills and potions if we so choose. Yes, choose.
I got a call from a son whose 92-yr old father had a stroke, and after 12 weeks, the son felt he was not bouncing back “as he should.” He wanted me to visit and assess him to see what I would suggest as a Yoga Therapist to get his dad back to his old self. I asked him a bit more about his dad, and he said his dad kept telling him that he was “just really tired.” The son went on to say that if he could learn to breathe deeper like they do in Yoga… perhaps that was the magic that was needed to bring his dad back. But, I could read between the lines of this elder’s statement knowing that mustering his inner strength was perhaps beyond what he was choosing to bear.
I struggle with this. Of course I would love to help if I could. I could feel the emotion of this desperate son over the phone. But an Old Testament bible verse kept coming into my mind over and over again. Ecclesiastes 12. It’s too long to share in full here, but the message is clear. When Old age happens, we cannot escape it. The eyes grow dim, hearing wanes, physical strength diminishes. Can we accept and embrace this process… or can and should we defy it with all the 21st century options we have available to us? So I guess that statement was right. We actually DO live in a time when we can choose.
I told the son that perhaps his dad was telling him that he truly was tired. After all, he lived 92 years. How long is enough? I didn’t get a call back. Not sure if he continued his search for a comeback answer or not.