August 24-C, 2022

My sister, Susan, was one slight perspective shift away 
from being alive today.

She took her own life on 12/20/2021 at age 62
by refusing to eat or drink
as per her living will--
"No liquids, no tube feeding, 
nothing to prolong my life.
Let's get this show on the road!"--
and under the watchful care of Hospice,
because she refused to live on life's terms.

She refused to do anything
on anyone's terms
other than her own.
And her own terms refused
to acknowledge,
much less accept,
reality that was out of accord
with her preferences and desires.

She loved her dogs
except for the peeing/pooping part.
And was "the life of the party"
by being high on the affirmation
of those in attendance,
but without the applause 
and on her own,
it was a different,
and unlivable world.

Mental illness is that way--
a perspective shift from balance and harmony,
peace and tranquility.

Our expectations and judgments,
evaluations and assessments,
opinions, plans and agendas
can be out of accord with all things
reasonable and customary.

And no one can do for us
what we each must do for ourselves--
see what's what and be right about it,
and do what needs to be done
in response to it.

Attitude adjustments are entirely voluntary.
And utterly essential
to life as it must be lived
in order to be lived.

Acknowledgement, acquiescence, acceptance and accommodation, Kid.
Acknowledgement, acquiescence, acceptance and accommodation.

The rule of life. 

Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

4 thoughts on “August 24-C, 2022

  1. Jim. It breaks my heart. Your prior post @transitions together with this sum it up. Attitude, acceptance, awareness, giving to the moment what we can… Sue ‘had it all’ yet had nothing, and nothing we could do for her could change that. Thank you for responding to the call of writing, thus enabling us to share in the simple wisdom of your ponderings. Peace on you & yours 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Living consciously is just seeing what’s going on, and we can’t see without verbalizing and seeing what we are saying, and correcting what we are saying to better match what we are seeing, and we can’t say what we see without the right kind of community which listens to us to the point of enabling us to hear what we are saying, make adjustments to better align saying and seeing, so it’s a circle and we are all doing our part in assisting the growth of our awareness, which is always both personal and communal… No one sees alone, isolated from others. Solitude is not isolation. We see together.


  3. Thanks Danny! Susan as she might have been would have been a blessing and a grace upon the world. That is the loss, which is to say that she died long before she stopped breathing, and that is a truly terrible thing.

    I trust that you are well and becoming “well-er” every day! — Jim


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