Dying with Dignit(as)y. 

Anxiety, Assisted Suicide, Death, Dignitas, Dissolving into liquid sky, Life is hard, MS, Multiple Sclerosis, Worry

L and I spent our morning yesterday researching how much it costs to go to Dignitas. 

We’re both alright by the way, don’t want you to worry, we haven’t booked flights (yet), but… It’s been in the news recently – the 70 something woman who was generally fine but just really didn’t want to experience the type of old age that she’d witnessed in her time as a nurse. So off she went. Never to return. I’m  completely empathetic to this point of view. 

When I was at the lowest point of my devastating relapse (previous posts: Losing all the things), in a heap at the bottom of the MS well, despairingly attempting to focus on the ever diminishing sunlight, I thought a lot about dying. About how, if the things I had lost never found their way back to me, I couldn’t envision a life that I’d want to live. Some people could, I get that, but for me there is a point at which I’d give up, throw in the towel, call the whole thing off. The thing that terrifies me most is the loss of my voice. Metaphorically and a bit literally as well. I never never ever want to find myself trapped in a situation where decisions are removed from out of my control. That’s a clumsy sentence, I know. But losing control. No. *shakes head, looks decisive, and cool, good hair!

And this thing, this losing, or getting lost, not having a voice, being spoken for – I couldn’t live if that was caused by MS or illness in old age. 

I’m lucky, at the age of 35, to have four grandparents who are (mostly) fine. Especially the women: they know their own minds. I hope I’m like them. And I hope they live – healthily, happily, well – you know, forever. 

But, in addition to their wellness, they have children, grandchildren who love them. They’re never going to be forgotten, neglected, lonely. And my parents obviously have my brother and me. But there it stops. Is having a child so you’ve basically got a possible future carer okay? Obviously they might not particularly want that, but hey! I will’ve given them the gift of actual life!

Ideally my dream death would be at home, asleep, bed surrounded by weeping disciples who all immediately take their own lives at the point of my death, in solidarity with me, so the room resembles the end of a Shakespearean tragedy, aside from one who can’t join us until she’s written a flattering portrayal of my life and works, various miracles etc, which will, when discovered years after my passing, become a uniting world religion that ends all conflict and suffering. Ideally. 

Basically, I don’t want to have to get on a plane, fly to Switzerland, die in a clinical space that’s so much not home. And I think the anxiety surrounding old age, chronic illness, would dissipate if assisted suicide was legalised in the UK. Feel free to disagree. That’s just where I stand. At the moment.  

 

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2 thoughts on “Dying with Dignit(as)y. 

  1. I admit that I share many of your views on assisted dying (apart from the bit/joke about “surrounded by weeping disciples who all immediately take their own lives at the point of my death”) – I’d prefer to die alone and only live on in peoples memorie’s of what I did or achieved (memories are often more rose tinted than real life!) This probably derives from the fact that I am an only child and have no children of my own – so no familial “disciples” .
    I know that there are many people, who disagree vehemently with the concept of assisted dying, fearing that it is the top of a slippery slope leading to people (particularly the old/disabled) being urged to end their lives prematurely. I am lucky enough to be very strong willed/stubborn and make it clear to all who know me that I want to live and (maybe wrongly) believe that they will abide by my wishes – and if I’m wrong, I won’t know anyway!
    However, what I find much more distressing is the few people (and there’s been cases recently), who no longer want to continue living, can’t end their life painlessly without assistance and are forced to endure a slow, suffering route to death by the only means open to them by refusing food/drink – which I think is just cruel!

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  2. Basically, by saying what you are saying, someone could kill you and say you wanted it done. I just encourage you to be careful in who you let know. Your life is valuable and precious no matter how sick you are. Your soul is of infinite worth. I encourage you also to look at my blog and see if you can find what’s causing your lesions. The Lord Jesus led me to a chemical reaction that creates a toxin called lysolecithin that causes lesions. This toxin is created unnaturally in many foods and products. http://jesusdiedandlives.wordpress.com

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