In medicine, when dealing with a severely sick patient, there is a moment when you know there is nothing you can do for that patient. That moment is called death. You struggle, you seek solutions, you do brainstorming with your colleagues, but when the patient is pronounced dead, there is nothing you can do… to undo that state. Death is definitive. Even if some parts of the body still function, even if the conditions for life might be reunited again after some minutes, the last breath remains the last breath and that patient never returns to life. It is like a flower in a vase; once cut from its root, even if it stays apparently alive for days in a row, it can’t return back to life and you know that, despite being so beautiful, it is actually dead. This brings into question why would you offer dead flowers to someone, but this is another story…
Similarly, relationships die. There is a moment in time when the story is over, but the couple keeps staying together despite the obvious death of their partnership. Often, the grief following the death of the relationship is done while still being with the ex partner, and quite often that partner doesn’t become aware of the new state of affairs until he/she catches you cheating or you suddenly leave without a word. This bereavement while still being alive in a couple is both hard to contemplate and difficult to detect in due time. And it starts with one click – often something insignificant – the last drop that causes the overflow.
The moment of death – both physical and relational – is intertwined with an important concept: hope. Hope remains with us until the last moment and enables people to fight until they turn completely irrational, savage or self-sacrificial. It is a massive force that should never be underestimated. Hope has won battles that should have been lost, hope built religions and civilizations, but hope also ruined nations when used mindlessly. It is both a weapon and a slave’s chain. It frees people but it can also keep them imprisoned in delusions.
Being alive and going on with one’s life requires a vigorous ability of self-delusion. One must convince himself/herself that life is worth fighting for if it is to be lived. And for this, one must use hope. No hope means instant death and the beginning of the process of bereavement. Psychologically, if one can’t hope anew, it is as if he/she is dead already. It is a matter of time until the physical death catches up with the psychological death, and in some sad cases physical death can come after many years. What is important is if someone can still use hope, if someone can still enchant oneself – bewitch oneself – that there is still hope somewhere.
Before death there are often warnings. Such as “Romania will reach a point of no return, when the active & educated population between its borders will become insufficient to reinitiate a revival”. Those warnings have been given repeatedly, over many years, to deaf ears. The population and the leaders have slept the sleep of death, so as to paraphrase the national hymn. And guess what!? We have reached the point of no return. And we did nothing. And then we went beyond that point. And today we are here, beyond the point of no return.
The patient has died.
The flower in the vase is dead.
The relationship is over.
Surprised to have finally achieved this?
What did you expect? That an exception will be made especially for us by God or logic or whatever force you might be thinking about?
Right now there are simply too few okay-ish people in this country to help it in any way. Even if God comes here, he can’t do anything about it. It has become impossible to do anything.
Right now I’m looking at the corpse of what used to be my country. As a doctor whose patient has died, I can’t resuscitate it. You can’t resuscitate a dead body. You can create a Frankenstein but… is that really a nice being?! Also, I went through life quite enough to have the first-hand experience of reinvigorating a relationship so as to know that if it didn’t work well from the beginning, it won’t work at all. What is dead is dead, and if you didn’t do anything to prevent death, or you couldn’t prevent death, there isn’t anything you can do.
You know… I feel tired to write about the horrors I see in my medical practice. Or about the world outside my house. I don’t think it is any longer relevant for anyone, it is sad, and those who left this country are congratulating themselves for their choice after each article I write about the reality I see everyday. Any additional articles I might write would be like fruitless attempts to resuscitate a dead body. Romania is beyond the point of no return and… it deserves it.
You might wonder what caused this article. It is the results of the PISA test I published today here. I could accept that health is poor, that money are being stolen or mismanaged, but when I saw the results, they confirmed what my intuition told me long before: the country is in the lower half of that graph. Or, to put it simple, we are a nation of idiots. The next thought I had was that I do what I do in vain: my medical work, my dedication to my patients, the quality I provide, everything… And then, the next thought was something like this: I’m alone here in this country of idiots…
It was today when I lost hope.