a world

Allow Yourself To Heal & Feel — No One Is Promised Tomorrow.

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Craig Lewis was 55 years old when he was diagnosed with amyloidosis — a rare autoimmune disease that fills the organs of the body with a viscous protein, causing them to shut down.

Usually this would mean one is left with only days to live. Enter doctors Billy Cohn and Bud Frazier of the Texas Heart Institute. They invented a machine called the Continuous Flow Device, which enables the blood to circulate within the body without a pulse.

The heart is removed and the device is installed. Craig Lewis was able to survive essentially without his heart. Unfortunately Craig’s liver and kidney’s still failed him and he passed.

However, while this may be deemed a great advance in technology, the question remains, would we still be the same emotionally if our organs were replaced by machines?

I don’t believe technology should advance to the point of being able to keep a man alive without the need of a pulse.

I know what you’re thinking… “But if a 55-year-old man is dying of heart failure and they can save him, why not?” “55 years is young, too young to die of heart failure, too young to die of anything…”

What I am thinking is that human beings need hearts; the creatures of this earth have hearts — those beating, pulsing, blue and red veined things that pump oxygen through to our lungs, make us feel all the emotions artists and poets thought up. Humans feel; what are we if we don’t? Machines. Robots.

The Age of Technology makes us mechanical in every way. My mother always told me if they gave the option of putting her on life support, “Please don’t let them do it.” Please do not let a machine be the thing that keeps the corporeal body alive.

For at that point we are just a sack of organs that no longer work together to draw life into our dead bags of skin without the aid of something inhuman. Let the soul depart from the body for it’d be trapped inside it — imprisoned. Nothing more than a vegetable, not really a human being at all.

A pretty picture of what used to be lying in a hospital bed keeping the still living from moving on.

I don’t consider myself to be very religious, but I have faith and I am faithful to the belief that my body is comprised of a soul.

A soul that controls the brain and its thoughts and a soul that allows the heart its feelings for from each of these organs come nerve endings, nerves that connect to my skin allowing me to connect to humanity. Once my organs fail, no machine will keep my soul alive.

This is not an easy belief to hold, for at the moment they tell you your loved one’s earthly vessel is failing the soul it’s been entrusted to hold, you cannot help but respond with “Well, fix it, do the surgery, that operation to transplant the organs, the stem cells. Do the radiation and the chemo; give the pills and medications and homeopathic remedies. Keep them here for me because I am not ready to let them go.”

This is the heartbreaking reality of this beautiful wonder called life. It can be oh so painfully short. No one is promised tomorrow, and as my dad always says, “Do not rush to the weekend, to that vacation, do not rush away your days waiting for the ‘better’ ones, and enjoy the current one you’re in.”

This is life, and you can take all the preventative measures you want and do so. Don’t smoke, workout, eat healthy and whole, and stay away from microwaves and too many x-rays. But do not spend so much time preventing death that you forget to live life. Feel with the deepest sense of your soul.

Feel. Feel your heartbeat beneath your palm, taste the sweat beading off your lower lip in the heatwave of summer, shiver in the bitter chill as the icy wind hits your face in the snowy months of winter. Let the touch of your lover excite the hairs on your arm as their lips trail the length of your neck.

Allow your eyes to squint when you’ve read too many words in your hunger for knowledge about this vast world we’re all a part of. Enjoy every soul-crushing second of that dull day job for you’ll appreciate the things that nourish your soul far more after all the hard work it took to achieve them.

Allow yourself to be human and make mistakes while you can, live without regrets for them, and that thing you wanted to do? Do it now, do not wait, take life and all it has to offer and feel every surface of life’s flesh until your thumbs are numb and you can no longer feel the whisper of its breath.

Death is also a gift, for without death life would be meaningless; the trials and tribulations, the love and loss, all the good and bad would be for naught had we the immortality to fix it tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.

Tomorrow — what a beautiful dream; but today, today is for the onion hearts — human in their fragility, far more precious than that of any machine.

 

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{Have A Heart}

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Alise Versella
Alise Versella is a 25-year-old poet living at the Jersey Shore. She has published three volumes of poetry which can be found at her website, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon. Her work has been featured on Elephant Journal, Women's Spiritual Poetry blog, ultraviolettribe.com, The Tattooed Buddha, and of course here. She considers herself a coffee enthusiast and self-proclaimed dessert whore, who believes with every fiber of her being that poetry, beautiful poetry, can come from the ugliest of pain. Poetry can be the salve for all the broken parts, and it can make us whole.
Alise Versella
Alise Versella

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