Wednesday, August 27, 2014

An old lady chose to take her life---brave, sad or bad?

The news from Canada that an old lady (85) suffering from dementia, took her life in the last day or so, brings to the fore the question of---‘do we have the right to take our own lives?’The ending of a life, one taken by a lady in Canada raises some questions. My heart is saddened as I read this news; about her full life, about her contribution to society, about the fullness of her life and that she should chose to write this thought provoking letter, one that points to the lucidity of her mind, that is when it was not taxed by the steady downfall that IS dementia. I suspect that most of us think from time to time about the nature of our death, how we will die and possibly when we will die. For many, death comes out of the blue, in an accident, or via a sudden catastrophic health event, a failure as it were of one of our vital functions. In a sense this is ‘kind’ of nature to take us so, but when there is a gradual decline from a long lasting health issues (there are many!) or through the slow degradation of brain function, then it is a decidedly sad affair. That we KNOW this is happening can be a blessing or a curse. Think of those suffering from Alzheimer’s or Dementia and everything becomes a bit cloudier. Now take the question of, ‘do we have the right to end it all, rather than go through the inevitable failing of our senses and bodily functions?’ There is no one answer and the law varies around the world as to the stance officialdom takes. Unless one is on such a position, then it is hard to understand why the lady mentioned at the start of this article and no doubt people will make a judgement, based on their own beliefs, from both a spiritual and personal stance. This lady most definitely had a plan and I suspect that we may hear more about how the couple discussed this, right from the start of her ‘troubles,’ if not well before. That her partner was there for her right at the end and did not try any acts of ‘heroism’, speaks for itself about the strength of their relationship. As I age, I sometimes wonder what I would do, if such a pathway opened for me. As of this moment, I am unsure----possibly confused, but most definitely not judgmental about the decisions taken by this lady and her loving husband. I do not mean to be morbid or to express a fear of the ‘inevitable,’ but if I do have a choice between the actuality of death, then I think I would choose ---‘not to know’ the where, when and how.’ That of course may change. The experience of this couple makes one THINK! NOW---live for the day in the best way you can!