Thereâ€™s a lot of talk about taking control of how you die. My father had an advanced directive, but it was so crude in its instructionâ€”basically donâ€™t revive me if I have a catastrophic event like a heart attackâ€”that it didnâ€™t help us make any of the decisions we were faced with during his decline.
Some have the foresight to write elaborate directives, asking to be brought to a remote place to have a last moment of transcendence, or to be surrounded by family at home, or be bathed and wrapped in white cloth and buried in a pine box. But more often than not, people donâ€™t write anything down or muster the courage to bring up the end of life with their loved ones at all, leaving death at the wheel, playing the dirty trick of steering for them.
I started to do this last week. Â Itâ€™s a challenging and weird exercise in figuring out you want your life to end. Â Do I want to keep my online presence alive or when life ends, is it all over for me online and off. Â What the heck happens to the dog? Â Can one play too much Bon Jovi at my funeral? Can one play too much Bon Jovi at any public event? Â Should I even have a funeral? Â Do I want to die around family and friends or alone? Â Where do I want to be buried?
With my mom dying of brain cancer, statistically I have had to ponder that fate as well. Â The reality of dying young and from cancer. Â How do I fight it? Â Do I take chemo and die painfully or accept death and shorten my time on earth.
A lot of stuff to think about.
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what Iâ€™ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
â€“ Robert Frost