His mind fully intact, seemed to be in overdrive — impatient to see things done. Last year in September, we managed a trip to the cricket at Lords to mix with his longstanding friends there. Some of those friends had attended Lords with him since He knew this would be his last visit. A visit with him to Dr Davies at Papworth at the beginning of October, seemed to offer a reprieve by increasing the pressures on the ventilator. Mark set his sights on Christmas and then having achieved that the 50th wedding anniversary, for Alice and he on 16 March just passed. Do you recall his last blog of 22 October in fact posted by him the next day.
Cold, dank, misty mornings and no sign of the Indian summer promised to us by the meteorological office. No, this is not the time to plan those outside barbecues, … I can say, with all honesty, that I have not had occasion to question how I am, or do feel when I wake up each morning. It is not something I give time to thinking about. I wake up like most people, and would only consciously know how I felt if my wellbeing was prone to variations but that is not the case. I think you will agree that Mark had it wrong — for once!
Perhaps it was because of the adversity of his childhood; his determination; his incisive and intelligent mind; his thoroughness; his organisational ability, all coupled with an underlying, bubbling sense of humour, love of life and his fellow man — he succeeded.
There is little evidence of failure. His tenacity of purpose was nowhere stronger than through his blog, which over the years reached millions and possibly was one of his greatest achievements. Let me share a fragment of the comments returned to Mark from his readers:.
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He is like a wonderful piece of machinery with a big flywheel which occasionally makes an unexpected movement. Caring for others. Through Mark we have all become attuned to caring. Mark cared for others too — but increasingly — required care himself. Michael Long. Service conducted by The Reverend Judith Griffin. Organist: Mark Underwood. Tags: Memorial Service Address. In the course of grappling with what to say, and indeed how to say it, I have thought a good deal about other funerals I have experienced and what they have meant to me.
The first funeral I can remember, and the last I came to at this beautiful church, was 34 years ago when Justin Kirkpatrick, the best friend of my childhood, succumbed to leukaemia. As a child, there was something quite bewildering about the experience of his departure. On the day of his funeral, the naturally overwhelming grief of his family seemed to me to be subsumed into the fabric of this ancient building, and muffled by the rites of the service.
Death, Dying, and the Afterlife: Lessons from World Cultures
As an adult, it is all very different. Funerals no longer bewilder me — there is no ambiguity about why we are here. This is my third in a year bookended by black. A few weeks later we emerged into the churchyard at Anstey, a few miles west of here, to find a huge yellow moon shining silently over the frozen snow-covered land. To have asked any of his family and many friends why they had packed shivering into that little church on a dark Tuesday afternoon in February would have been like asking a parent why they kiss their children goodnight.
As the MND took hold, he had no choice but to surrender his fierce independence and, as he became less able and inclined to drink, a better, kinder, more authentic man slowly emerged. This gave me the willingness, at least to try to say something meaningful to him when fleeting chances presented themselves, in the knowledge that his breath was slowly but irrevocably draining away. My father was an unusual man full of the contradictions and complexities, the inevitable legacy of any unwanted child brought up in a home with love in short supply. But while such a start in life so often produces a tendency towards self-destruction, Dad had that innate drive and determination that seems to be an equally powerful force in the minority of those who are born with nothing but their own God given gifts.
He described my father as. Many of you will recognise this description of the teenager as a clear premonition of the adult we knew so well: prodigiously intelligent, ready to take on new challenges at all stages of his life, with a yearning for travel and a love of sport that saw him regularly playing 36 holes of golf well into his seventies.
Such were his abilities, particularly in his work, that he came to the brink of great success in the property world. Had the oil crisis of not pulled the rug from under him he may easily have created a business empire to rival the best of them. But he was always remarkably sanguine about forces beyond his control in life, just like his namesake Cato, that great Roman Stoic. Perhaps the most constant lesson he impressed upon me, during my all too frequent moans about work problems, was to just keep going and not worry about the inevitable set-backs along the way.
In all his businesses, my father relished every challenge and he pursued every path with an admirable honesty, integrity and that most respectable of desires: to lay down a secure future for his family. More than any other motivation in his life, I think Dad pursued that sense of belonging he was denied as a child. He was undoubtedly at his happiest surrounded by a large group of old friends, preferably with an ample supply of champagne to lubricate the proceedings.
To Dad, his family was really another sort of Club, the automatic membership of which he relished. He was sure of his right to the patriarchal seat at the head of the Christmas table and everything this symbolised, even if there were notable occasions when he failed to comprehend that this was a Club with obligations as well as privileges. Even if he struggled with the idea of almighty God, I am sure he valued the consistency of this place and that he sensed something enduringly English and apparently unchanging here — a bulwark, in his mind at least, against successive governments seemingly bent on the destruction of our indigenous culture and the moral fabric of our Christian society.
For him, it was love at first sight and I have often been struck by the fact that I never once heard him comment on the attractions of any other woman. As his illness progressed into this last year, he looked to the beacon of their fiftieth wedding anniversary next March. While I have been immensely proud of the uncomplaining courage Dad showed in the face of the relentless and merciless progress of his MND, I know I speak for my sister Chloe too when I say we count ourselves very blessed to have parents who faced their greatest test with such dignified strength and quiet forbearance.
This strength was drawn not only from God but from a deep well of friendship, community and service which sank ever deeper as the illness progressed. If I was to name everyone who gave their support we would be here for hours — many of you here today will know that I am talking about you and as a family we thank you with all our hearts. We will never forget the seemingly limitless goodwill and utter dedication of Harriet Ross and her team of nurses whose exemplary care often went well beyond the call of duty. Also among us today are the two men to whom my father was closest in his life — his mentor, and the man he looked to almost as a father, Geoffrey Hanscombe, and his very old friend Dr Michael Long from Australia.
Thank you is a grossly inadequate word for everything both of you did for him and all you have done for us. So the time has come to say goodbye to my father, as you may say goodbye to your husband, your father, your grandfather, your uncle, your father-in-law, your brother-in-law, your old friend, the man you worked for or the man you nursed. After a heavy snowfall, Charlie had hitched a ride the day before on a tractor to the nearby village of Brent Pelham, which we just managed to reach by car to collect him.
Now I dare to hope that my father and Charlie are both somewhere better, perhaps watching a game of celestial cricket, enjoying a cigar together, and knowing they will always be loved by so many they left behind. As we all know, he did this with as much humour and diversion as he could muster and he was not one for deep reflection on his mortality and nor was he inclined to spell out the course of his suffering in great detail. Unsurprisingly, MND ultimately robbed him of the ability to see his blog right through to the end, and, although I know he would baulk at anything that smacked of of self-pity, I do believe he would have wanted those who had followed his story so far to know how it ended.
He wrote about how his visitors were remarking on how well he was looking and how he thought he may have plateaued. The idea of the plateau, or remission, was never far from his thinking but the reality was that his MND, though long-lasting, followed a steady trajectory of decline interspersed with sharp and sudden steps down — never up. Blog entries were written retrospectively so that for Monday 22nd October was written on Tuesday 23rd. Soon he began to cough and complain of not being able to breathe.
He was taken back to his bed, put on his Nippy respirator and a physiotherapist was called in to work on his chest to try to steady his breathing. The doctor detected an increase of fluid on his lungs and a course of liquid antibiotics was prescribed in the somewhat vain hope that this was due to an infection rather than the general weakening of the lung system.
My sister and I were telephoned in London and warned that these developments could well herald the end. Within a few hours the scene for the next eight days was set — Dad in, or initially occasionally on, his bed with his respirator, wonderful Ross Nursing carers coming every few hours and the equally admirable district nurses appearing to deal with his syringe driver at least once a day. He needed turning regularly to maintain some comfort and initially could still eat a little and take regular drinks. However, over the coming days his breathing steadily got worse, the gurgle on his lungs became louder and he became entirely reliant upon his respirator.
Even at this stage his spirit remained strong, or perhaps it was simply the power of denial that is such a common natural resource in the dying.
Dying to Self
My father was a bright man and of course he knew what was happening. Of course he did but who could blame him for holding out hope that it would pass and he would be able to return to his chair, his blog and the hope of a plateau. As the days passed and Dad gradually grew weaker his eyes were rarely open. Yet the immediate crisis had not resulted in the death that seemed so sure to follow.
The level of medical care and constant supervision required begged the question of whether home was still the best place for him. The family had been in touch with the Arthur Rank Hospice in Cambridge some time before and they were contacted again and an appointment made for a discussion on Friday 2 November. By this time he had become very hard to hear, a combination of his full-face respirator and a very weak voice, so it was difficult to determine how much pain he was in and where his syringe driver was delivering substantial quantities of pain killers and anti-anxiety medicines.
The emergency duty doctor was called just after 10 p. The prognosis was far from clear but a blocked or twisted bowel was suspected and, despite being on anti-nausea medication, the risk of vomiting was a real one. This was by no means an easy option as we had been told he may not survive even being hoisted into his chair, let alone put onto a trolley and driven over twenty miles to hospital. The ambulance did not arrive until 2 a. Nonetheless, they managed, with a considerable amount of help and direction, to get Dad onto a trolley, up the garden path and by 2.
The night was clear and very cold and the process caused him a good deal of pain but it had to be done. I was left holding the fort at home and my mother accompanied him on what she later described as worst night of her life. What was most difficult for them both was that health and safety rules dictated that she was not allowed to get up from her chair during the journey in order to move my father. Consequently, he was stuck in a painful position, bumping around on a hard trolley, the whole way.
We all rather naively imagined that he would be seen by a doctor as soon as the ambulance completed its 40 minute trip to the hospital but in fact it was held in a queue and when finally unloaded Dad was left on a trolley for a good deal longer. When he was finally attended to the cause of his swollen stomach could not be determined with any certainty and indeed it gradually diminished over the coming days. However, it did mean that the next morning the question of whether to take him home again or to the hospice came to the fore and it was decided that it made no sense to subject him to another long journey home when it may well be that the hospice would beckon very soon.
Therefore, on the morning of Friday 2nd November Dad was admitted to the hospice and the final leg of his journey began. It is a remarkable place full of kind, generous and decent people — from the volunteers to the nurses and the management. When he was first admitted Dad was still able to communicate to some extent and there was a resumption of the basic regime under which he had been cared for at home. However, as the days passed his voice was becoming fainter and fainter and he was becoming far less present. When he could make himself understood it was clear that he still retained a desire to gather familiar things around him.
At one point he asked for his laptop to be brought to him but sadly he was well beyond being able to use it. Most importantly, we, his family were able to be with him most of the time. Chloe and my mother Alice spent several nights on sofa beds and Kimberly and I also undertook our shifts so Mum could get some much needed time back in Clavering.
While the hospice was exemplary in its care and definitely offered an immediacy and level of medical care that could not be matched at home, we were all aware that the question of whether Dad would remain there until his death had to be tackled. Although clearly extremely weak his repeated defiance of predictions of his demise made us wonder on more than one occasion whether he could go on like this for some days or even weeks to come.
She had paid them all the money she had. But instead of getting better, she only got worse. How can you ask who touched you? She came shaking with fear and knelt down in front of Jesus. Then she told him the whole story. May God give you peace! You are healed, and you will no longer be in pain. Why bother the teacher anymore? Just have faith! She is just asleep. Everyone was greatly surprised. You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus.
Learn more. Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. The next step is to choose a monthly or yearly subscription, and then enter your payment information. Trey Alston. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company. The dichotomy of Kodak Black has always been one of the most interesting parts of his artistry and aesthetic. On wax, he'll rip his bandages off to excavate new truths and emotional understanding for his fanbase.
Without the backings of a melody to blend the message, he avoids having serious conversation. When on Hot 97 recently, he chose to end the interview before opening up about a sexual assault case that he's set to go to trial for. Last year, Kodak decided not to expound on videos he recorded saying that he would fight Lil Wayne.
And, yet, he raps about his experiences in jail and more without filter. This adds a degree of fakeness to Kodak's music. It's like a guarded portrait of him that will be painted in broad strokes, but will forever be incomplete. Dying to Live is Kodak's second studio album. It follows 's Painting Pictures, which attempted to paint his troubles through strokes of innocence, wrong timing, and predestination. Dying to Live is a selfish album, an LP of personal comments connected by Kodak's inquisitive tone that rarely leaves him out of focus.
Purposely vague comments on the legal system never get to where they should, and there's an "I'm the victim" sentiment that runs throughout. Its refusal to take responsibility spits in the face of what Kodak always attempts to portray with his authencity, making its faults feel all the more realized. It's too bad that brief glimmers of brilliance turn up on occasion. Related Story.
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Dying to Live continues to show Kodak's gift at confessional rap. His rhymes about street violence and other types of criminal activity play more as admissions to get off his chest instead of chest-pumping braggadocio. Throughout the album, Kodak opens up about what he's done, what he's about to do, and what he will do if things won't work out in rap music which they will, they always will. On "Needed Something" and "Calling My Spirit," Kodak digs deeper than the streets, centering the lens on his innermost thoughts and wishes.
This makes the album a tad more personal than his debut and street-glamourizing mixtapes beforehand. You would think with this kind of introspective and reflective step-up on Dying to Live would at least acknowledge his current legal situation. Much of Kodak's appeal comes in the way that he contextualizes his legal experience with everything else he has going on, in as little words as possible.
- Latest Diary Entries.
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- 5 Things The Dying Want Us To Know.
- You Gotta Have Balls: How a Kid from Brooklyn Started From Scratch, Bought Yankee Stadium, and Created a Sports Empire.
- What does the Bible mean by “dying to self”?.
But, strangely enough, the experience is largely absent. Aside from what could possibly be deflection, Kodak doesn't address it. I guess my hope was that someone in hip hop would finally speak on a incident that the genre sweeps under the rug, since they're always open to discuss any other legal situations on wax.
But here, as usual, rap turns its blind eye. Kodak's album opener leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
5 Things The Dying Want Us To Know | HuffPost
It's a conflicting residue because the production is somber, heartfelt, and inspirational in the way that music playing during fourth-quarter comebacks in sports films can be. But, the lyrics that accompany the whimpering production are cringe, sobering, and a realization of how rappers use music to sway public opinion.
Through two verses, Kodak essentially blames his troubles on the devil.