To the Editor:
“As I Lay Dying” (July 25, by Grant Pick) is a moving, direct, and illuminating account of the psychic process of dying. This sensitive piece invites the reader to cross over the threshold of intellect into the heart of a great man, Roger Conley Bone, renowned pulmonary physician, who died prematurely of cancer at age 56. Dr. Bone was generous enough to share his wisdom about life and death. I find myself recounting his advice on a daily basis. With death in the forefront, we become parched with the need to savor life’s daily experiences. Dr. Bone states, “Suddenly the lemonade became the point. I tasted the sweetness of the drink, and though I felt my life passing before me I tried to savor the moment.”
None doubt that our lives are all framed by the inevitability of death, but most of the time we procrastinate, focus more on accomplishments, more on the “what” (e.g., accomplishments) than on the “how” of living–the “how” being how we live our lives on a daily basis, how we relate to people, to family and friends, to nature, to the moment, to God. Dr. Bone bravely questions the precepts by which he has lived his own life and concludes that he has some regrets which he would like to share. He generously feeds us with his insights so that we may make some changes now. He reminds us that good health and freedom from pain is not something to be taken for granted. It is a gift to be appreciated and enjoyed. Thank you Dr. Roger Bone and Grant Pick for this moving and timely piece.