A recent piece in Popular mechanicsdiscussed a “teleportation pod” that would allow people who want to die to do so with dignity. At the push of a painless button, apparently.
I didn’t read the full article because I don’t subscribe to Popular mechanics and frankly, as neat as the technology is, I don’t need to read any further.
If a person wants to die, he must be able to die. If a person is in so much pain that he would ask his own children to help them die, for example, then that person should be given the dignity and respect to have an option through which he can painlessly slide down this death spiral.
I am not usually a real power. I am usually flexible. I am usually flexible. I consider myself open to new ideas.
And I can understand why anyone might object to my approval of assisted suicide on religious, moral, or spiritual grounds.
However, that objection also makes me wonder what that person’s experience of death or illness or pain or trauma might be.
I am also well aware that my mother was not the first to die a brutal death after battling cancer. I am well aware that I am not the only person on the planet who has had front row tickets to that nightmare of a show.
I encourage people to have different opinions.
But this Christmas I’m being stubborn about something.
It’s my first without my mom in nearly 40 years, I’ll go through the motions. I’ll cook, I’ll open presents, I’ll toast to a Merry, Merry holiday, and I’ll make New Year’s resolutions.
I will also spend time trying to forget. I’ll spend time forgetting what necrotic toes look like. I’ll spend time trying to forget how my mom was so thirsty towards the end, but since she couldn’t swallow and was limited to the tiniest amount of liquid, one drop would make her vomit. A literal drop.
I will try to forget how guilty I felt sitting there by her bed, able to walk downstairs and sate my own thirst when she would have given anything for a cool sip of water.
I will try to forget the way she looked at me and, without saying a word, conveyed her apologies to me. She gathered the strength to speak, her voice sometimes cracking and saying she was sorry.
She was sorry!
It broke my heart every time.
I’d tell her she shouldn’t be sorry. I’d tell her she didn’t do anything wrong. She shouldn’t worry about anything but trying to die now so she can be free.
My heart is still broken nine months after her death. And frankly, it’s often less about the fact that she’s gone, but so much more about the fact that she suffered. She has suffered so needlessly.
If I had told her in March that there was a tube she could lie in, push a button and then blissfully disconnect her life, I know my mom well enough to know she would have said just this:” Get me in asshole.”
In the TV series the right placeThere’s a line from one of the characters about how even if she got a thousand more days with her mom and dad in heaven after they died, it still wouldn’t have been enough.
No one is ever ready, really, to let go, I guess.
It is the human condition to ask for more, more, more.
But sometimes, when the human condition, the entirety of a person’s human experience, is limited to hunger, pain, and misery, they don’t want any more.
And that person should have the right to request deferment of payment.