From: Tony@halmarax.demon.co.uk (Tony Halmarack)
Subject: TWC-L Introduction
Date: Mon, 24 Jun 1996 15:26:11 +0100
I'm Tony. I've been helping to put this mailing-list together and I'm
looking forward to taking part in what, for me, will be a very
interesting process. I hope these discussions lead to some practical
results. I'm just coming up to 50 years old which may have some relevance
to the subject. I'm beginning to lose the first bloom of youth, that's for
sure, though this has some pretty nice compensations at times.
Two major experiences in my life lead to my interest in the purpose of
An illness in my mid-twenties led to a point of death experience that left
me with a profound anxiety. I was balanced on the threshold between life and
death, waiting for something to act upon or interact with:
A point of light to head for; an angel to take my hand; even a demon or two
to wrestle with. There was nothing. Just a black silent void. The one thing
I was completely unprepared for and unable to cope with. I came back deeply
shocked (no pun intended). If I wasn't afraid of death before this experience,
I certainly have been since.
As may often be the case with traumatic experiences, I wrapped up the memory
and put it behind me, until quite recently.
My uncle George, last remaining of my elders, led a simple and contented life.
He seemed to have a clear understanding of his place in the world. It was
plainly evident that he loved life. Even after his wife died 18 or so years ago,
he still went on happily with his life, full of optimism and good cheer, busy and
interested in the world around him.
By the time he was 89 he was going blind with Glaucoma and losing his hearing. He
had a double hernia which incapacitated him and it was sad to see that the quality
of his life had plummeted. One day he fell downstairs breaking his arm and leg.
He fought his way back onto his feet. It took a long time and he was so frail by
then that he had to go into a nursing home.
He spent the next 2 years alternating between stunned sedation and abject misery.
When I went to visit him, his main concern was the anticipation of his twice
weekly bath, which he lived in dread of, because of the pain he had suffered
during previous sessions.
I know in my heart that the only thing that kept him there was fear of the unknown.
When it comes to my turn, I hope I can make the transition with more dignity.
I suspect that I may need help to do so.
-- Tony Halmarack =(*)= Tony@halmarax.demon.co.uk