time is of the essence

I just read this fascinating, disturbing and tragic diary of a man whose mother is terminally ill and choosing euthanasia. You can read it here. It’s quite hard to read towards the end, but a very interesting snapshot of what a situation like that might be like – and what’s most interesting is that, aside from her illness, life sort of carries on as normal right up to the moment when she passes on. Is there some kind of relief in knowing when it’s all going to end? To be handed that control of your life?

I’m not sure. Sometimes when I have trouble sleeping I find myself thinking about getting older and dying. About what it might be like and whether I’ll be scared. Whether I’ll even get to grow old, which I do hope to. I wonder if I’ll be alone. All those common fears. If I think about it for too long I find that the weight of those thoughts become unbearable, at which point I’ll switch the light on and make a cup of tea.

Like my mum always says, you can’t worry about these things. What happens happens. Take it a day at a time. I love my mum. She always knows what to say.

I digress. The article got me thinking about life and death and all that deep kind of material that we don’t like to delve into too often. I think people deserve that right — that relief, in a sense — to end their lives when they are ill. Who are we to force others to suffer through the pain? That’s not fair. (I’m speaking only in terms of incurable illnesses, here. Just to be clear.)

Something to ponder for the week. Or for much longer, as I suspect we will.

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