Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you will weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow's springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.
--Gerard Manley Hopkins
I visited a parishioner this morning. She told me that she is ready; that she is tired; that she doesn't want to spend the rest of her life in the hospital. I cried and we prayed that God would do what was right. (I asked if the mother had talked with her children about this and she said no). Then I went to a funeral for a parishioner's mother. Then I came home and the volunteer receptionist at the church called to say that the first parishioner's daughter called and said that her mother "had given up" and would I talk with her. I wasn't sure whether the mother or the daughter. I have left a message for the daughter to call me. I don't know the daughter. I don't know whether it is appropriate for the mother to give up. I don't know what her prognosis is; whether they will get the medicine right.
I am supposed to be packing to go to Cleveland tomorrow to see my oncologist. It is raining and raining and raining. It is dark and dreary.
I read a quote on Sunday to the effect that the problem with man is not that he is finite but that man doesn't believe that he is finite. I don't think it is quite the same idea as Hopkins. We are finite, mortal like leaves of grass, we wither and die (a misquote from Isaiah last Sunday and I think from Ecclesiates not that I can spell). We die, those we love die, people we have never met die.