Mindful Mortality Rob Spencer MD laughing in the face of death and dying jokes

A bagpiper who plays many gigs was asked by a funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man. He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a pauper’s cemetery in the Kentucky back country. As the bagpiper was not familiar with the backwoods, he got lost and, being a typical man, didn’t stop for directions.

He finally arrived an hour late and saw the funeral guy had evidently gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight. There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch. He felt very badly and apologized to the men for being late. He went to the side of the grave and looked down and the vault lid was already in place. Not knowing what else to do, he started to play.

The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around. He played out his heart and soul for this man with no family and friends. He played like he’d never played before for this homeless man. And as he played ‘Amazing Grace,’ the workers began to weep. They wept, he wept, they all wept together.

When he finished, he packed up his bagpipes and started for his car. Though his head hung low, his heart was full. As he opened the door to his car, he heard one of the workers say, “I never seen nothin’ like that before and I’ve been putting in septic tanks for twenty years.”

Apparently he was still pretty lost.

Mindful Mortality Rob Spencer MD laughing in the face of death and dying jokes

An old fellow came into the hospital truly on death’s door due to an infected gallbladder. The surgeon who removed the gallbladder was adamant that his patients be up and walking in the hall the day after surgery, to help prevent blood clots forming in the leg veins. The nurses walked the patient in the hall as ordered, and after the third day the nurse told how he complained bitterly each time they did. The surgeon told them to keep walking him.

After a week, the patient was ready to go. His family came to pick him up and thanked the surgeon profusely for what he had done for their father. The surgeon was pleased and appreciated the thanks, but told them that it was really a simple operation and we had been lucky to get him in time. “But doctor, you don’t understand,” they said, “Dad hasn’t walked in over a year!”