“I have no denial about the age I am, or what it means. People start to get sick at this age. The body fails in all kinds of ways. I’m aware of that. I’m conscious of my own mortality. I get it. We’re here for a certain number of years.” — Lori Carson 7/2014
The past week has brought us several reports of the deaths of famous entertainers. David Bowie, Alan Rickman, and yesterday Glenn Frye. A common thread is their respective ages, 69, 69, and 67. I am 65. Many of us, at this stage of life, experience deaths of those we have known for a long time, whether as relatives, friends, or by their reputation. I began keeping copies of poignant stories and informative obituaries about a year ago, several of them from postings by Lori Carson on her blog. She is a breathtaking writer of universal truths, and she has been a source of inspiration to me for some years now. I was thinking I might like to muse on the subject in one of these posts at some point. Today seems a good day to begin.
For about a year now, often when I lay my head down and just before going to sleep, I have had the rather pleasant thought that this is how I wish to die, just by going to sleep, forever. It was a rather strong feeling for several months last year, more recently it has not occurred as much, or with such strength.
Of course I do not wish to give you any cause for concern about myself or my near term intentions. Hardly. I am as happy and content as I have ever been. I have throughout my life had times, as I know everyone does to some degree, thought about what comes after death. My own conclusions tend towards the “nothing” answer, though with some reservations that are more metaphysical then religious.
I have spoken of my own wishes for my departure scenario on occasion with several friends and will have more of those as time goes on. My best friends who are also the executors of my will are prepped on my wishes. I do expect this is still a long way off for me, as I feel better physically today than I did during my last few years of work. Yesterday I happened upon an article from Australia about a couple who decided a long time ago to do it together. I have been researching the topic of euthanasia for a while.
The link below is what I have been looking for, a recent report from some folks who think like me, and, were able to act upon it in a most respectful way. It is, I think, quite a beautiful story, very compelling. They mention in the article that they spoke often of it with their daughters. I think it prudent I keep some records of my own conversations on the topic as well, so that there is no chance of misunderstanding when the time comes. I have placed a copy of the article in with my other legal documents.
I am going to attempt to find out what specific means they used to end their lives peacefully, as well as what other alternatives there might be. 25 or so years from now it might even be legal everywhere. One can hope.
Perhaps the most interesting thing to me however is the fact that they referred to it as “the big sleep”. I am sure many have before, as do I, and as it seems so obviously correct.