A 6 Foot Coffin of Wood? Or, a 750ml Coffin of Glass?

Daily Meditation #307–12/26/2022


What is worse?

To lose your child to death? At 3, 5, 10, 20, 30?
The years of opportunities once laid bare to them, future fruits, their own children and marriages all robbed?

Or to lose your child to addiction?
Heroin, fentanyl, alcohol, sex, or cocaine…
The years of opportunities being robbed by them themselves and their chemical ball-and-chains around the metaphorical ankles of their mind and souls?

In the first, we ask ourselves, weeping:
“What if? What would’ve been? What if? What could’ve been?”

In the latter, “This is my fault. What have I done? Where did I go wrong? Why would they choose this?”

Both are horrific for a parent to behold or to experience.
Neither offer an opportunity for peace of mind but in different ways. 

Ultimately, this comes down to some of the most crushing philosophical questions:

Is it better to die?
Or be enslaved — particularly by your own hand?

To be robbed of opportunity by death?
Or to give away all opportunity to a bottle, syringe, or pills?

To die and leave everyone with a burden of sorrow?
Or to live, burdening loved ones with the pain of your addiction?

I will not pretend to have answers, but invite you to think and discuss these.

Addiction is a true horror — not just for the addict, but perhaps worse for those who love the addict. 
Seeing a loved one invite in the utter rot and pest of addiction, leaving all skill and gifts to wither on the vine is heartbreaking.

But so, too, is losing a loved one.

Follow for daily philosophical meditations.

These are distillations from my coming book “YouDaimonia: the Ancient Philosophy of Human Flourishing.”

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