Sunday, May 29, 2016

Memorial Service

Pancreatic Cancer Diary, Part 12- Memorial Service
Published on Aug 8, 2015

"About 100 family, friends and colleagues gathered at the Fairview (NJ) Volunteer Fire Department on August 8, 2015 for a solemn ceremony in remembrance of Dario Darias."

This post picks up where the previous one left off.

I'm impressed with how much I feel I knew this man. Not that I knew him as we conventionally speak of knowing someone - I never met or spoke with him or saw him when he was alive. He wasn't famous or well known or renowned for things that would have us  know "of" or "about" someone, that way. Further, the videos through which he shares his dying aren't famous either, at least not yet: even the most well-viewed of  this series of videos has drawn only 31,000 views so far (as I'm writing this.) Still, his way of presenting himself and sharing his life to the camera, even from the awkwardness of his hospital bed; that, along with some very insightfuly simplistic video making, the results of which are posted on YouTube, a medium that  brings digital narrative up close, just inches from the eyes and ears of the viewer, establishes a most affecting and undeniable intimacy.

So, no, I don't feel like I knew Dario well, but I do feel I knew him and like all people I've known, no doubt there was more I might have known, and no doubt I missed out on some wonderful things. Still, through viewing his videos, I feel  I knew him enough to get the flavor and measure of his spirit and to absorb a little of it, enriching my own in the process.  Isn't THAT knowing someone? Knowing in the best possible sense?

Here we have the final installment of a series of videos that takes us along on a man's journey as he dies. Just 49 years old, this man,probably should have lived longer, should have seen and done and accomplished and loved a great deal more. In this series he shares his experience with us starting from his initial acknowledgement that he has a very serious medical condition and is going to die. In 11 subsequent installments we accompany him, bear witness to some of his experience and learn about his life. He has some important things to share, things we might do well to learn from.

I found the journey to be sad, yes, but also uplifting. This man bore up and faced the inevitable with intelligence and dignity and as much good humor as I suppose would make sense considering his situation.

On another, related note I think this video series (to fully understand this, take a look at the previous post and the videos shared there)  breaks some extremely important new ground for us humans. THIS is a way to appropriately have some of the best of oneself live on it after one is gone.  Out of extreme respect for the man that the video above memorializes, I'll simply state here, on HIS page, that If I were to find myself in similar circumstances, I think I would want to do this. I'm pretty sure of it. I think some very significant possibilities are pointed to in this. This bears some serious reflection about our own lives and their endings.

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