The other night on ABC News there was a segment called “The Conversation” which was about families facing and talking about the future death of an elderly loved one. In the segment I watched it was a family talking with their Father who had just turned 85 and asking him what he wanted done in those final days and hours of his life. To a lot of people this is a morbid , even prohibited subject but it has to be faced.
I just turned 70 and I have already had this conversation with my Daughters plus I have made a Living Will which is registered at the Hospital here in town. O.K. 70 isn’t that old but let’s face it, you grow older not younger and I for one hope I can hang around for a good many more years. Then again I could fall out of bed to-night and break my neck or go for a ride on my Scooter and get smucked by a bus. One never knows. In my Living Will it states that no extraordinary means are to be employed to prolong my life as I have absolutely no wish to hang around in a vegetated state. If I am in extreme pain just shoot me full of Morphine and drift off to the arms of Morpheus. Hell they can even overdose me if they wish.
My Daughters and I have discussed this subject thoroughly and they are well aware of my wishes. I do not want a Funeral where I am laid out in a coffin for everyone to gawk at and say what I great guy I was and the rest of the platitudes spoken on such an occasion. I am to be cremated as fast as the law allows and as to the ashes, well I’m not around so they can be disposed of or saved if my girls want them. As to any type of religious ceremony, no way, I do not believe in religion nor the Biblical God, By the time they get around to that the Universe has more than likely already recycled me. I, like all things in creation are energy and that has long left the mortal body it lived in for a short while.
Some people who know about my attitude on this subject think I am being selfish as they say that a funeral is not for me but for my family and friends to have the opportunity to say good-bye. We talked about that also and if the girls want to hold a memorial they can. As to saying good-bye we will have that opportunity I’m sure. As far as remembering me ,well every time they see a History Book, or see the Veterans on Remembrance Day, or see an Electric Scooter whizz by they will think of me. I think also that whenever they see a youngster playing around they will remember me because they know that deep down inside their Dad was a big kid who never really grew up.
This is a Conversation that should be held in every Family but then that is up to the people involved. I didn’t want to discuss this subject until after I watch my Mother die a most prolonged death. Thankfully we had an opportunity to talk and say goodbye. The same with my Dad. It doesn’t ease the sorrow of when they are gone but it does help you to cope with the loss. I crack jokes about death and dying all the time because my whole attitude towards it is this. From the moment you are conceived you are condemned to die so why not have some fun and laugh about it. Hell you only go around once. Right??????