WARNING: Don’t read this if you get depressed easily.
I must be getting very old (63 years). I think about how I want to die. Now, I don’t dwell on this subject, and I certainly don’t lose any sleep over it. But I want to go out quickly when the time comes. My dad died of a heart attack when he was almost 80. The week before, he was playing golf with his buddies. Only one week in the hospital was all he had to endure, and I’m so totally at peace with that.
My brother, on the other hand, died at the relatively young age of 52 of brain cancer. It was a long, slow, tortuous death, and grossly unfair that he would have to suffer that way, especially since he was such a sweet, caring person.
I recently looked up some old classmates, and a few of them who I knew had passed away. So, the old death train is coming down the tracks… and I guess you become more aware of it the older you get.
Now, I have heard, and maybe you have too, that some people think it is selfish to want to die like my father did, with a minimum of illness, no nursing home, no dirty diaper, and full mental capacity. I read this in a Buddhist publication I once subscribed to, and a friend told me the pastor of her church said this in a sermon. By the way, my dad’s mother, my grandmother went out quickly with a heart attack in her 70s. Now, that’s the way to do it.
So, those who think it is selfish to want to go out this way seem to think it doesn’t give the family time to prepare emotionally for the person’s death. I cry “FOUL!” on this! It’s selfish to not want to be a burden on your family? To not want them to agonize over how to take care of you? To not have to go through what Scott Adams describes, here? REALLY!!?? And, why should anyone not be emotionally prepared for an old person to die? Do they really think they’ll live forever?? Of course, we’ll miss them, but if think we should be glad if they don’t have to suffer too much.
So far, I’ve been blessed. My mother is 91, lives alone, and is very active. She still can drive, goes to art classes, and can still take care of her own affairs. I fear a bit for the future, though. I do hope she goes out the way she wants to, feet first from her own home. And I hope the same for all my loved ones and myself.
Be well, everyone… next week, I’ll update my investing strategy, and find maybe something cheerier to write about.