A LOVE SUPREME

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

The end of meaning

This is the kind of story that initially sounds funny to me:

480-Pound Woman Dies After Six Years On Couch

STUART, Fla. -- A 480-pound Martin County woman has died after emergency workers tried to remove her from the couch where she had remained for about six years.

Gayle Laverne Grinds, 40, died Wednesday, after a failed six-hour effort to dislodge her from the couch in her home. Workers say the home was filthy, and Grinds was too large to get up from the couch to even use the bathroom....

Emergency workers had to remove some sliding glass doors and lift the couch, with Grinds still on it, to a trailer behind a pickup truck. Removing her from the couch would be too painful, since her body was grafted to the fabric. After years of staying put, her skin had literally become one with the sofa and had to be surgically removed....


But let's think about this story. How many years ago did this woman give up on life? When did any significance and meaning become banal and uninteresting? In many ways she died years before her physical body quit. Did she find any meaning in anything as she lay on the couch day after day after day? Did she find small pockets of meaning in television?

And what causes a person to give up? To completely check out........Was she a defragmented soul? Did she feel lost? Angry? Pain? Or just apathetic? Perhaps she had no feelings at all......

5 comments:

ktismatics said...

I went to the news sources. Apparently there was a man involved, a guy who called himself her husband, presumably the guy who brought her all that food. Clearly she'd been incapacitated for some time. Perhaps she was profoundly retarded, or schizophrenic, or paralyzed; she was obviously in need of more help than this man was offering. "I tried to get her up but she wouldn't let me," he said. Couldn't he have called the doctor a couple hundred pounds ago? Wasn't he negligent to bring her food but not to at least clean her up once in awhile? Or maybe he too was just a sad guy who kept hoping things would turn around somehow and get better.

Jonathan Erdman said...

That is very interesting. And equally tragic as I think about it. By all accounts these are two lost souls. What would salvation look like in this scenario? Where is the place of redemption? What would a Christ-follower do in this case to present the Gospel? I mean a real Christ-follower. One who is uninhibited by those who are psychologically deranged and increasingly seem to lack human characteristics of spirit and soul, there bodies becoming warped and disgusted....Does a Christ-follower have time for such a mission these days? There are, after all, many things to do in life....

Melody said...

The story seems a little impossible to me (in spite of the fact that it's true), but I think alot of times people learn to put up with undesirable conditions when they're not willing to do what is involved in getting good conditions.

This woman didn't start off grafted to her couch, she became that way through inaction. Apparently doing every day things stopped being worth the effort of leaving her couch, not all at once, but over time.

It starts out with not being worth it to go walk in the park...then it's not worth it to eat dinner at the table...or to sleep in a real bed. Over time it stops being worth it to get up to go to the restroom. And one day it was too late to turn back.

Jonathan Erdman said...

And that's what I just can't understand. How do you gradually lose interest in anything? It is true that eventually it just "wasn't worth the effort." But how do you get to the point where nothing has any meaning? How do each of these activities eventually become so meaningless that you just figure it is better not to do them?

Melody said...

Never having sat on a couch for six years, it's hard for me to be sure, but I suppose that rather extreme depresion and/or phobias might cause that.