There is nothing better in life then free choice; well actually maybe not, maybe it is love. So as a woman in America I do believe it is essential for me as an individual to make my decision in regards to how I should die, so my choice is the sun. I choose to live my fullest life with radiance and shine, I do not want artificial equipment to keep me tied to the earth when I grow weak and in a state that the only enemy I have is time.
However, in the whole scale of America, we also have something that is ours, truly ours as a nation and that is our rich diversity. With so many different religions, languages, and beliefs we as Americans do have a responsibility to state what we want for our death and how we want it. Sometimes we as survivors or caregivers are in the between of what we wish to preserve for a little longer and what we know in a hearts to do. So why not just prepare for the worst and accept it, I will die one die what do I want those who will survive to do? Yes, I understand it to be easier said than done, especially since we are a death denying culture. Let us think about it though, what about weddings? It is a time of celebration to a new beginning, is it not the same for a funeral as a final fair-well? Our responsibility is easy; we need to talk about it. For example, every since I started this class I have kept a journal with quotes and entries that reflect my life, my desires, and how I ultimately wish to go. It is a start, but a responsibility because if I do not take charge of my life today, it will become a challenge for my loved ones tomorrow.
Furthermore, the roles that patients and their families have in supervising their end of life choice should always be priority. I can respect the needs of a patient, the need to take medication, the knowledge of the severity and the chances of survival, but my declaration of what I want should be heard and accounted for. Where do we begin on such a grueling subject? Do we tell our children on their tenth birthday, “hey by the way Billy if I ever get really sick and die I want you to make sure that you and mom cremate my body not bury it”? See where we have our dilemma? The role falls directly on our raising and up brings, how we deal with the death of a pet and how we mourn for a grandparent for example.
Finally, our own knowledge about decision making by a healthcare provider can only be incorporated by asking. We should not be ashamed to ask and more so to listen about what our choices are. If we want to fight to stay alive longer then move forward, if we do not want tubes in our throats and machines keeping us alive, then respect it. We go to the doctor to know what we can do, not to be forced to survive a certain way. Simply put, not everyone who has a cold takes medicine some people are content with a warm up of tea and extra fluffy socks.
“To die would be an awfully big adventure”- Peter Pan, a boy who never wanted to grow up in fear of the unknown. We are not immortal but we can choose how to be respected in our death, all we have to do is walk the plank and leap into the endless sea.