Monday, April 8, 2013

Death With Dignity? Not For This Guy!

With the passing of major political and cultural figures, I guess we're all thinking about mortality. It's important to ponder how you'll handle your end, when it comes. Dying with dignity is everyone's right. But it's a right I choose not to exercise.

As the grisly reaper nears, the last thing I want to do is to behave with courage and decorum. I plan on shrieking like a little girl, clinging to the hospital orderlies, and dismaying everyone with the ugly spectacle. The terror of death will probably make me convert to some bizarre cult, and I'll disavow everything I ever believed. Maybe guilt my friends and family into indulging me while I accuse them of never having loved me, and... let's just say stealing my clothes. Something like that, anyway. It'll be extemporaneous like freeform jazz. Only instead of music, they'll hear hateful, self-pitying nonsense.

They won't put up with much of it, let me tell you. Who would?

Anyway, as you reach the last hours of your life it's important to meet them on your own terms. And in my case, those terms include unbelievable cowardice. We all want to leave behind an example to others. It's our way of aspiring to immortality. My example will be a picture of a guy who was so completely without self-respect that he became an angry, obnoxious burden to all who cared for him. That picture is going to last, believe me. It will be unforgettable.

Our time here is short. I want to live every moment like I mean it. And for some of those moments, I'm going to be very, very unpleasant to be around. It's all any of us can do.



  1. reminds me of a movie moment, some remake of a Quartermaine novel. The evil cannibal natives were marching the heroine to a huge pot over a fire and she was fighting it, screaming "I do NOT need to do this with dignity!"

    I rather agreed with her reasoning!

  2. “Only instead of music, they'll hear hateful, self-pitying nonsense”

    I realize this is satire (and it was amusing!), but this post also brought to mind something on a more serious note: the last words--just one sentence--my mother said looking directly into my eyes a few hours before she died that was, and still is very unsettling to me personally. I always considered to have had a good (very good, in fact) relationship with my mother. Sure, no doubt I wasn’t the ‘perfect’ son according to all of her expectations, but to be sure she wasn’t the ‘perfect’ mom either. I am sure most of us have our shortcomings even though our hearts are right. Sometimes circumstance in one area eclipse and exacerbate what we are expected to do in another.

    Anyway, be kind. I think that’s one of best legacies you can leave with the living in your last moments if the conditions and circumstances will allow for it. Be gentle, kind and loving. Pehaps the only, or at least the most useful lesson and example, and reason for my admiration of the Christ was when He said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

    Anyway, just saying.


Related Posts with Thumbnails