I just read a story about a Toronto man with Huntington’s Disease who decided to take his own life before the disease took control of him.
It was a tough story to read.
It made me cry but I think the tears were happy tears since I know he is at peace.
This is what the Gentleman wanted.
His reasons are all documented and he explained further in a letter he left behind.
His wife knew and so did two others from a group called “Dying with Dignity”.
That’s what it’s all about- isn’t it?
We hold our head high for a lifetime. Then along comes a disease that means- towards the end of life, being tied down to a hospital bed.
There’s great pain and discomfort and the agony of waiting for it all to be through.
Could I do it?
I don’t know.
I don’t think any of us know until we are faced with the prospect of dying a terrible, painful death at the will of an incurable disease.
I have seen three people in my life in the hours, days and moments before they leave this earthly plane for the next.
It isn’t pretty.
One asked- “Why is it taking so long?”
Another- “I’m dying but I’m having nice dreams now.”
That was my Dad.
Another- My Aunt, looked at me through eyes I scarcely recognized as she thanked me for coming by her hospital bed day after day to feed her.
To this day, I don’t know how I did that daily.
Should assisted death be legal?
I believe so.
It’s the final decision we can make for ourselves.
Before the pain.
Before the mind is taken.
Before the body crumbles.
There should be a place.
A wonderful place filled with music. Soft light. Pleasant scents.
A place for family to be.
After all, family gathers around a casket to see a dead body- so why not before that time?
It would be a time when the terminally ill person is still able to think clearly and has time for a proper goodbye.
When someone special has decided it’s time to say farewell, we should leave them to their own quiet dignity. Their final wishes are just that- their final wishes.
They need to be respected and carried out.
Standing in the way is the law of the land and probably organized religion.
In the near future I am sure it will be viewed as being normal and the right thing to do.
These decisions take time and taking one’s self into eternity is the biggest decision of all.