When does mortality become a concern? Certainly, not during the youthful vigor when the future holds bright concurrent with the cellular construct yet expanding and multiplying. Is it with the first encounter that reveals vulnerability? And what is defined as a “healthy” sense of it, as opposed to an obsessive conduit to a dementia of nihilism? Does a “close shave” necessarily haunt everyone, or does it matter as to the sensitivity of a soul that such karma encounters? What “reminds” one of a future terminal, as opposed to becoming an all-consuming journey to avoid the ultimate consequence?
Whether for future promises of glorious defiance of it (Christianity and similar belief systems) or of denial of the substantive reality we face by it (Hinduism, Buddhism and similar negation-bases faiths), the treatment of how it is approached, the methodology of embracing or rejecting, and the paradigms constructed in order to answer the underlying metaphysical queries, are “projects” which Heidegger has identified as those very endeavors to avoid the inevitable.
For Federal and Postal employees who suffer from chronic, debilitating, or otherwise delimiting medical conditions, such that the medical conditions prevent the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal positional duties, the brush with the question of mortality becomes a reality precisely because vulnerability from the secure world one has previously taken for granted, becomes threatened with each day passing in the empirical experience of contending with the medical condition itself.
Medical conditions remind us of our mortality. Certain and specific conditions tend to exponentially magnify it tenfold: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (in nightmares, intrusive memories and recalling of traumatic events); Major Depression/Depressive Disorder (by the loss of stamina and the overwhelming sense of despair); Generalized Anxiety Disorder, which may include suicidal ideations and panic attacks (via the heightened sense of intolerance to work-place stresses); and those physical conditions which result in chronic and intractable pain, from multi-level degenerative disc disease, cervicalgia, myofascial pain syndrome; Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, as well as the ongoing list which every attempt to become “all-inclusive” always fails to mention, precisely because there is never a single right answer to the mortality reminder.
The key is often missed because the focus is misdirected – it is not so much the medical condition itself, but the impact of that medical condition which prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal positional duties: that is the essence and foundation of a successful Federal Disability Retirement application. But more importantly, it is that “nexus” which is the key to the mortality reminder, and that which prompts the Federal or Postal employee into a spur to action: Prepare the Federal Disability Retirement application well; formulate the foundation for Federal Disability Retirement carefully; file the Federal Disability Retirement application in a timely manner.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire