Dying with Dignity

Today I want to share a literary view of courage from one of my all-time favorite books, To Kill a Mockingbird. Consider Harper Lee's statement about courage when faced with death as an alternative to the one that's been in the news recently.  The circumstances of addiction and cancer are different, but both filled with agony.
“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do."- Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockinbird

A quote from To Kill a Mockingbird about dying with dignity. (Harper Lee)

If you are unfamiliar with this scene in To Kill a Mockingbird, Jem (a child) rages at Mrs. Dubose, a mean, elderly neighbor, when she called his father names. As punishment, Jem (with Scout in tow) goes to her home dailyl to read to her.  Later in the book, when Mrs. Dubose dies, Atticus explains that she had a morphine addiction. Despite her incredible pain, Mrs. Dubose wanted to break free from the addiction. Jem reading was a slight distraction during some of her worst moments. In the end, Mrs. Dubose beat the morphine. It did not beat her. She died with dignity.

I'm not one to typically write about controversial topics. (Though I did, once.)  Not because I don't have an opinion, but because This Simple Home is my place to write, share, and inspire. This was on my heart this week, and I wanted to share it with you. 

If you have never read To Kill a Mockingbird (affiliate link) consider joining along with the Reading to Know Book Club in December as I lead the "discussion."  (If you are a big fan of the book, I recommend the hardback edition which I linked to above. It's so much nicer than the mass market paperbacks.)

Feel free to leave a comment, but please be respectful. 

I'm joining Wednesday with Words at Ladydusk.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through an affiliate link, I earn a small percentage at no cost to you. Thank you!

~ Annette
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  1. I am looking forward to rereading this book in a few weeks. I had read it for the first time just a few years ago. I had forgotten that part about Jem reading to Mrs. Dubose, but this brought it back to mind.

    It is definitely a hard thing to face a certain death knowing there is going to be pain and deterioration in the process. We just went through this with my pastor, who died of pancreatic cancer just a few weeks ago. I don't see how anyone can do it without the grace of God. I wish those in the news and those facing these decisions privately all could and would come to Him so they might access that grace and not only know where they are going after death but also have His grace and help and comfort along the way.

  2. I haven't read this since high school.

  3. I just re-read To Kill a Mockingbird this past spring. It was amazing how much I'd missed the first time around! I especially liked what you quoted here. It's powerful and it's not something people give much thought to.

  4. Great quote. I just read this a couple of years ago and should revisit it.

  5. This is on my very long to-read list. I haven't been up to weighty reading recently, but perhaps in the new year. This is definitely an impetus to read it! Thanks for joining us!

  6. I love TKM and hope I can squeeze it in next month! This is a favorite scene of mine.


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