Dying Life Of Ruth December 2009 2016

Dying Life Of Ruth, December 2009-2016

Frequently, these many years, I say or think to myself, “My life is over”. On its appearance that makes no sense. What I am doing is really asking myself a question, “In a teleological sense, is my life over”? Have I reached a point where I will no longer be able to reach the success of life’s project, such that failure is death or the slow dying? This is a post-death reflection that Ruth taught me in her dying life, during the period from 26 October to 17 December 2016.


I have felt very stuck in the last two years. I died with Ruth and emerged in something of a half-life – stuck in the birthing canal.




9 December 2018, approximately 0600 AEST:


In the early hours of the morning, I reflected, when was the last time I had a clear sense of well-being in life – the point at which it may have started (again) to untangle into a previous death of self. At the end of 2009 my life had collapsed (again). I had failed to establish a new career and flourishing life in teaching (again). And then, in that December, Ruth got sick. It was the beginning of another life and career in history (again).


And it became a journey of seven years of death for Ruth (December 2009-2016). Life cycles around and around as we are simultaneously living and dying.


But the question comes depressingly, is my life over?


Against the odds and the currents of death, I again embrace life’s ambition, life’s project, and move forward in time.


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Neville Buch (Pronounced Book) Ph.D. is a certified member of the Professional Historians Association (Queensland). Since 2010 he has operated a sole trade business in history consultancy. He was a Q ANZAC 100 Fellow 2014-2015 at the State Library of Queensland. Dr Buch was the PHA (Qld) e-Bulletin, the monthly state association’s electronic publication, and was a member of its Management Committee. He is the Managing Director of the Brisbane Southside History Network.

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