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Dying with Dignity


I can hear "Time's winged chariot hurrying near" more clearly and seriously than Andrew Marvell. People younger than me are bidding the final farewell in my neighbourhood in the post-Covid days. As a young man I used to yearn for death quite often. That longing was more than the Freudian psychological condition known as Thanatos. It was a profound acknowledgement of my own sense of worthlessness as a being. Mediocrity, if not worthlessness.

Delhi soothed my Thanatos, however. When you live in a residential school along with all others associated with the school, you stop feeling utterly worthless. There’s something you are good at, you suddenly realise. It may be as simple as identifying the goodness in the other person with whom you share the dining table or the department duties. You can’t live with other people 24x7 unless you learn to see something good wherever you look. And when you see something good all around, Thanatos takes flight.

Thanatos has returned, it seems. Death has begun to fascinate me once again. I also realise that I’m ageing. As gracefully as I can. That is why when I learnt about this site, deathwithdignity.org, my cup of joy overflowed. It is a good guide for those who wish to die happily, singing their favourite song and drinking their choicest beverage. It gives you a to-do list, tasks that you must complete before you quit.

For example, how to safeguard your digital legacy.

Or, Alternative options to hasten death.

And best of all, Creating your life file: A checklist for end-of-life planning. This last one is really good. Downright pragmatic. It reminds you to keep a password list (make it easy for your heirs to manage your legacy), document your bank account information, prepare your will, etc. It is better to articulate everything clearly. It makes your end smoother for yourself and your relatives.

The above site is American. But death is not exclusively American and so we in India can make use of the suggestions.

The Indian Supreme Court has made a living will a constitutionally valid document that upholds a person’s right to die with dignity. You can specify certain things about your old age and death in the living will and seek to die with dignity. For example, you can demand that you should not be kept in an ICU once you are terminally ill, that you should not be tube-fed when your death is imminent, and so on. Kerala has too many multi-speciality hospitals which do mammoth business with old age and death. You have every right to do away with the services of these hospitals once you know you are crossing over.

This reminds me that I have a few things to do now. Let me get on. 


PS. Let us laugh a little. Do you believe in life after death or reincarnation and stuff like that?

A couple made a deal that whoever died first would come back to tell the other about the life after death.

After a long life together, the husband died leaving his beloved wife behind. True to his word, he returned. “Jess, Jess,” he called in the middle of the night from somewhere in the dark outside.

“Is that you, George?”

‘Yup, I’m back as we agreed.”

“Thank you. Tell me. How’s it like?”

“Well, I get up in the morning. I have sex. Then breakfast. Off to the golf course. Sex again. Bathe in the sun, have more sex. Then lunch. Lots of greens. Another romp around the golf course, then pretty much sex in the afternoon. After supper, back to the golf course and more sex. Finally sleep. Next day, it starts all over again.”

“Oh, George, are you in Heaven?”

“No, I’m a rabbit in a farm.”

The above joke is plagiarised from somewhere.

 

Comments

  1. I love good laugh and so thoroughly enjoyed the humour.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hari OM
    🤣 Good one. As to the above; I have covered similar territory some time back on my blog (insitgated, no doubt by father's state and the big [new] C) and had actually saved an article with some very practical advice. It may be of interest/use to you. YAM xx

    ReplyDelete
  3. I often think about death in spiritual and mystic terms. There's also a macabre fascination with it too. But reincarnating as a rabbit seems like a pretty good deal too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Death is an inescapable reality and so it's good to develop a smile round it, I thought.

      Yes, some rabbits have all the fun - like some men.

      Delete
  4. I am surprised Jess was not offended by George's romps in the next birth. I am not obsessed with death but it is finality for which being ready is good. Who knows when Yamaraj comes knocking!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One can't be loyal in two different worlds 😊
      Nowadays it's better to be ever-ready to go.

      Delete
  5. Loved this post that was quite informative.

    ReplyDelete

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