WAITING TO DIE: LIVING with LAUREN by Dr. Kenneth Ring

One of the things that makes waiting to die a somewhat bittersweet experience is my girlfriend Lauren, though I’m sure she would object to being called “a thing.” No, she is both my dream girl and the answer to this old man’s unspoken prayers. I don’t know how I would have survived these past few years without her loving care and all the many things she has done for me during this time to keep the ship of Ring afloat. So it sometimes makes me melancholy when I think that when I die, I will have to leave her behind since the practice of suttee does not seem to be in her repertoire. I will miss her dearly when the time comes for me to take up residence elsewhere.

Lauren and I met online in March, 2015, just as she was about to leave her home in Piedmont, California in order to join her son, Rob, a flight surgeon in the Navy, in Florida where he was to get his “wings.”  Lauren is, like me, an e-mail junkie, and in the first month of our correspondence, before we had met, we exchanged no fewer than 200 messages, some quite lengthy. I had obviously met my match and the epistolary girl of my dreams.  We fell in love writing to each other, but of course we didn’t even know each other — we were only words on a screen. All she knew about me by then was that I had apparently been married a dozen times and had had innumerable affairs.  I feared this one would turn out to be an affair to dismember.

Lauren is a therapist and like all therapists she had been seeing one for years.  Of course, it’s a game all therapists play...

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Welcome to the RINGDOM

Introduction:  Hi, everyone. I think I should tell you a little bit about the column I’ll be writing monthly and that if you have the interest you’ll be reading – at least until your interest begins to flag.  You see, toward the end of last year, I wrote something, just as a lark, I called “Waiting to Die.” Well, I published it in a couple journals and on two websites of friends, and to my surprise, I received a lot of encouragement to write more such pieces.  So I did. I’ve now written a bunch of them, and in this column, I am going to start inflicting them on you, beginning with my maiden effort.

One advisory:  These essays are not morbid; they are meant to be humorous, at least some of the time.  And they usually end with something that I hope you will find to be of spiritual value, maybe even occasionally inspiring.  But, bottom line, which this almost is, they are meant mainly to be entertaining, and if occasionally they prove edifying, I hope you will forgive me.  

OK, you’re on your own.  Have fun and enjoy the ride.

Dr. Ken Ring's series of essays "Waiting to Die" debuts here tomorrow September 5, 2018.

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Dr. Ring is Professor Emeritus of psychology at the University of Connecticut where he researched near-death experiences. He designed scientifically structured studies of 102 near-death survivors that further developed Dr. Raymond Moody's early NDE findings. He is well-known for his ground-breaking research...

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