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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Why This Ad Doesn't Creep Me Out

(c) 2011 by Tom King

There have been a series of ads recently on television from a group called  One of the ads always makes me cry....

It's a daughter sitting beside her dying father's hospital bed and remembering back to scenes of the two of them together growing up.  Somebody posted a complaint on Facebook the other day that the ad creeped them out.

"Does the ad mean she thinks her life will be better off without her father?" the poster asked.

It's interesting that someone would fasten on that idea, especially someone who tends to be a conservative. I think he was probably looking for liberal bugaboos in the thing since the commercial runs on the evil mainstream media.

But the ad is not about death panels. Whoever made it is someone who has an aquaintance with death. I've lost two brothers and my dad under tragic circumstances. My wife buried her parents within six months of each other. She and I work with seniors and have stood by more than one bedside while someone 'shuffled off this mortal coil'.

We've seen the families who cling to a dying loved one long past the time they should have let them go. I'm reminded of how my mother-in-law died. Her kids were all around her. She was dying from inoperable cancer and was no longer even fully conscious, yet she clung to life tenaciously. Her youngest daughter had been very close to her and the girl was grieving hard. Recognizing that it was time, my wife and her brother and sister came close and said goodbye. They told their Mama that they loved her and that they would be okay.  But it wasn't until the youngest, was finally persuaded to tell her Mama it was okay that she quietly slipped away. 

Families sometimes go to heroic lengths to keep their loved ones alive, long past the point where life is worth hanging on to.  As a Christian, I believe death is not permanent. I jokingly call it a "dirt nap" because if you believe you are going to wake up, then death is naught but a heavy sleep.  Jesus called it sleep.  What awaits us at the end of our "nap" is something worth getting to. 

No one else should decide when it is your time to go. No one else should make you stay longer than you need to in order to accomplish whatever God had in mind for you to accomplish. And when you go, it's nice if somebody tells you how much they love you and that they'll be alright till they see you again.

That's what that advertisement was all about. There are only two reasons I can see for someone to object to the sentiment in that commercial: 

(1) They can see nothing beyond the grave and for them loss is just loss - nothing more. They must think that making someone you love hang on is somehow the correct way to show love and that letting them go is selfish and creepy.

(2) They really believe that old people ought to hurry up and get out of the way of the young and they're afraid this ad makes that sentiment look callous.

I can't think of another reason why that commercial is a problem for anyone.

Just one man's opinion

Tom King

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