David Thomas on Buddhism and Looking Death Straight in the Eye (part 1)

David needs a new lung!

 “I stopped breathing for awhile.
But it’s OK, I started again.”

It’s difficult to believe David’s talking about himself here ~ he’s looking at you with that cheeky grin… is he joking?
Sadly no, with a fraction of normal lung capacity, breathing has become increasingly problematic for David.
But listening to him is a humbling and positive experience.
He’s a genuinely decent person, and my discussion partner in scripture class.
I’ll truly miss him if he doesn’t get a new lung soon.


David Thomas

¸   . • 

David has pulmonary fibrosis

“Which means my lungs are packing up.
I’m increasingly unable to process oxygen.”
He’s got this nifty little rucksack for carrying a mini oxygen tank, which he uses on trips out. Like a travel bag which gives him that much needed air to breathe.
“My only hope of survival is a lung transplant.
But shortage of donors means that 3 people die each day waiting for a donor. 
The NHS Organ Donor Register needs more people to sign up.
Most people are into it, but…”
David feels this is terribly sad.
“It causes huge unnecessary suffering of patients and their  family.”
David’s outlook is scientifically quite bleak. He was diagnosed 21 months ago.
“I lasted longer than expected, but it’s an unpredictable condition. I’ll be happy to last another few months.”

If it was me we were talking about, it’d have to be from under the duvet where I was hiding. But David’s surprisingly positive and cheerful.
I ask him why.

“We normally live our lives against a background of fear. So many things in our lives frighten us. People avoid thinking about death, but a lucky few of us are forced to face and acknowledge it. The conclusion you have to come to is “is that it?!
Our big unspoken fear – the bogeyman – just vanishes.”

* •.  

See also David on Buddhism and Looking Death Straight in the Eye (part 2)  –
Interview with the Bristol Evening Post, looks at how Dharma has enabled David to be that brave.
Also Beauty is to be Found in the Moment  – images.

David Thomas was a national newspaper editor and journalist. He’s now a semi retired director of a media company.
Married with 3 kids and a fat chocolate labrador.
Organ Donation
Click here for more details on the  NHS Organ Donor Register
Or you can just sign online here.
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Send prayers and loving energy to David

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