I died today. It started out as a normal day for you. Work, dry cleaning to pick up, a quick dash to the market for something for dinner and then a message from the family of a dear friend. Gone are the days when she would pick up the phone to arrange lunch or a shopping date. Too ill to leave her bed her family assuming the role of her caregivers. There would be a walk, they were raising money. Would you help? Could you help? Moral and ethical obligations aside who doesn’t feel good helping out those less fortunate? After all when illness hits close to home don’t we all question our own mortality? Don’t donations become the currency of good health and luck? A tithe of sorts to the gods of wellness. So we submit our offering, online, by check or an envelope full of cash. Ones conscience clear for the moment. At the back of your mind did it ever give you pause to wonder where it goes once it leaves your hands and travels lightening speed into the coffers of the chosen charity? Earmarked dollars for programs, services and the almighty research funding. But do you understand what exactly that means? Would your children think any less of you if they understood what you were supporting? If I told you that I died today because of your dollars would you be sad? If you knew that I had a heartbeat and now it is gone, would you be sad? Did you know that I could feel things; hunger, loneliness, fear, anxiety….pain. Would that make a difference? Should it make a difference? I died today because grants got approved and funding was supplied. I died today because someone never stopped to think about where there dollars were going. I died today never knowing the warmth of a child’s hug or the amazing feeling of running top speed through a field with the wind flapping my ears, my tongue lolling out the side of my mouth and the pure rapture of freedom written across my face. No family was there to say goodbye, no one mourned my passing. No one ever called me by name because I never had a name. No one even knew I ever existed, I was only a number and now a statistic. No one asked me if it was okay to hurt me, to force illness upon me. Suffering and loneliness are all that I knew and as life left my small body relief washed over me like a warm blanket taking my pain and suffering away. I suppose it wouldn’t be so bad if it meant something to someone. If my lot in life yielded something other than useless results. So many each day all in the name of a science that renders all but a scant handful of results mostly inconclusive. Before you write that check ask yourself if loving some but not all and turning a blind eye in spite of what you know is not the greatest hypocrisy of all. I died today.
Research Beagle without a name…
We will call her Phoebe meaning “bright & shining”
For more information on finding compassionate charities please visit the
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine’s Humane Charity Seal of Approval