Friday, February 20, 2015

Nurse the Hate: The Dinner Incident

Three people sat at a dinner table.  The elderly couple was in their eighties, both suffering from the various maladies associated with that age.  The woman’s son brought them dinner, as he did each week.  The son would use this as an opportunity to check up on them, and do little jobs that needed attention.  The elderly man wasn’t his father, but a late in life companion to his mother.  Though he was very particular, and could be rigid and difficult, it was generally agreed within the family that his steady companionship and presence in the household was good for all parties involved.

The dinner, bland take out from a nearby neighborhood restaurant, had wound to a close.  They lingered in sluggish conversation.  The elderly man excused himself from the table, remarking that he didn’t feel well and would be retiring to the bedroom.  The son and his mother lingered at the table.  An odd noise followed by what sounded like the man falling to the ground brought them to attention.  The son quickly moved to the bedroom calling out the man’s name.  He swung open the bedroom door.  It took a moment for everything to register.

The elderly man was crumpled on the ground.  His dentures had come out of his mouth and smiled at the son from the floor.  From a small hole in his head blood relentlessly gushed out onto the carpet.  In his lifeless hand he still clutched a small pistol.  “What is it?  What is it?”  The son held the door closed to not allow his mother to look into the room and see the bleeding body of her companion on the floor of her bedroom.   The noise they had heard from the kitchen table was the small “pop” of a .22 pistol.   Very quickly the mother understood what had happened.  Perhaps the man had waited until the son had come over for his weekly visit, not wanting for the woman to have to deal with the complications of having a suicide in the home.  There was no note.  No one would ever know for certain.  The authorities were called, and events proceeded according to protocol.

The son, obviously shaken by the events, spoke to me the next day about how he felt he was just a pawn in a grand scheme.  The Hand of God had placed him at the home, to be the one to discover the grisly sight in his mother’s bedroom.  Like many of the disastrous events that had pummeled him in the last several years, it was God’s Will.  Why would God place him in this scenario?  It was not for him to know, as he would be unlikely to understand the grand scheme anyway.  It was enough to know that God had a plan, even one that seemed counterintuitive or opaque in the moment.

I suppose the mind will hold onto anything to try and explain a horrible experience like that, however doesn’t the concept of “God’s Will” then eliminate the idea of free will and choice?  To suggest that a supreme being was responsible for the man waiting to shoot himself until the son came over is to suggest that the man had no control over his actions, a mere puppet.  If we then decide that this Supreme Being decided on the events as they transpired, doesn’t it also follow that any “choice” we make no matter how large or small has already been predetermined?  If we are just passengers on a pre-laid track, why even labor over choices?  Whatever the decision, the “choice” that was made was only illusion.  

The further extension of this line of thinking is to eliminate accountability.  If a man commits a crime, how can that individual be held accountable when his action was set into motion by the Supreme Being?  The criminal cannot be at fault as the action was predetermined by a being that we cannot understand.  Of course, the Supreme Being may have only set that course of action into motion so the individual could experience the ensuing accountability and society’s version of justice.  Damn... This is getting complicated...  Let's say you do whatever you want whenever you want.  That freedom is an illusion.  You would only be doing what God had planned for you to do.  Go ahead, choose to do the opposite of what you initially wanted.  This line of thinking would follow that the following action is only what God wanted you to do as the mere act of thinking of the alternative was part of His Grand Plan.  How’s your mind now?  Blown?

It is comforting to think that an all powerful being has a keen interest in the everyday actions of each and every person on the planet, carefully orchestrating events in a way that are beyond our primitive understanding.  We are all players in this grand pageant.  This gives each one of our lives not only meaning, but helps minimize the randomness and lack of control associated with tragic events.  Revisionist history is always correct.  This happened because of that.  It is all part of God’s Plan.  Case closed.  Move on.

I don’t know.  Maybe sometimes a guy shoots himself in the head and that’s all there is.     


At May 14, 2015 at 7:45:00 PM EDT , Blogger Very disappointed said...

I dont feel this is beautifully written. Nor do I think it should be on the internet or have been written by someone who doesnt even know the man he writes about nor the family involved. This was tragic. This article is ignorant. I pray noone in his immediate family has seen this. They dont deserve some stranger telling a story of their loved ones death. Im sorry if you dont see that.......this doesnt need to be on facebook or a blog. This upset a lot of ppl in the family involved. Please remove this.


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