John Mertz: Suffering with dignity
As of Feb. 6, Colorado House Bill HB1135, which will legalize physician-assisted suicide, has been postponed indefinitely by the House Committee on Public Health & Human Service; however, most indicators suggest the issue is far from behind us.
Suffering sucks! And in many situations, it does not quickly dissipate. Suffering comes in all shapes and sizes and finds new ways, every day, to enter, and often stay, in our lives. And suffering a long, drawn-out, painful death may be one of the worst experiences any of us ever has.
Now knowing this, how do we bring ourselves to hold fast and commit to the end and endure the suffering for the sake of offering up our pain for the sake of relieving others from theirs?
May I ask that you reach deep inside and really explore your heart and ask yourself, do I need a law passed to expedite my death as I suffer to the goal line? Will this truly provide an opportunity for others to hold me up as being worthy of honor and respect, because I supposedly died with dignity?
May we challenge ourselves everyday, regardless of whatever pain, anguish, disappointment or any other level of suffering we may currently be experiencing, to rest assured in the belief there is no dignity in walking off the field with time on the clock and an opportunity for us to help our team by hanging in there until the buzzer sounds.
And may we also constantly remind ourselves that our suffering is in the lowest possible percentage of pain endured by billions of people every day and may only be of interest to a very small group of people, if even them. And it is in acknowledgement of this precept that I do my best to suffer in silence and most importantly, remind myself to offer up my pain and suffering for the benefit of others, for my team, my fellow human beings.
Obviously, we need people, close to us, in whom we can trust to share our most severe suffering for the purpose of working through the pain and into peace. And it is most likely we will never be fully muted in expressing our physical and emotional pain as we trudge through to the end.
So as I begin to understand this journey, it is clear I need help and have added a request for it in my daily prayers. Help in becoming a man that, when the time comes, shows trust in God, embraces the pain, shuts my mouth and prayerfully suffers with dignity.
■ We must accept our suffering,
■ We must know and believe others suffer far greater than us,
■ We must train ourselves and support each other, to offer up any level of suffering in which we may be mired in the name of relieving others from their pain, and finally,
■ We must trust in God to help us find the good in and get through our suffering.
Please contact the individuals below, at a minimum, with your request to defeat any bill legalizing physician, or any other type, of assisted suicide.
■ State Senator Randy Baumgardner: 303-866-5292; firstname.lastname@example.org.
■ State Representative Diane Mitsch Bush:303-866-2923; email@example.com.
■ All of the current members of the Public Health and Human Services Committee: http://www.coloradoaction.org/hb-1135/.
■ Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet: 202-224-5852; http://www.bennet.senate.gov/contact/.
■ Colorado U.S. Senator Cory Gardner: 202-224-5941; http://www.gardner.senate.gov/content/contact-cory.
■ Colorado U.S. Representative Scott Tipton: 202-225-4761; https://tipton.house.gov/contact-me/email-me.
■ Attorney General Cynthia Coffman: http://www.coloradoattorneygeneral.gov/about_ag.
■ Governor John Hickenlooper: http://www.colorado.gov/governor/.
■ Vice President Joe Biden: http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/vice-president-biden.
■ President Barack Obama: http://www.whitehouse.gov/.
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