Is it Really Living?

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When given this prompt, I honestly didn’t know what to say, think, or write. I just kept staring at the question, what should medicines do when they cannot save your life? I was not sure how I felt about the question or what it really meant. As I went about reading “Letting Go” by Atul Gawande I starting thinking about what this really meant to me.

Personally, I think that everyone should have their own right to do what they want at the end of life as far as life support and artificial nutrition goes. If it is established beforehand, then proceed as the person wishes. But the question that screams at me every time is, are you really living if you can’t move, breathe, eat, walk, blink, talk, smile, laugh, or be you? On your own that is. Are you really living YOUR life if you are hooked up to a machine that is feeding you and breathing for you? And the more and more I think about it, my answer is no. No you aren’t living, you are surviving only because of technology. For me, I see that as no way fit to live the end of your life, for me, or my family. As hard as it would be to make that decision to take anyone off of life support, I feel as though there comes a point where it is just necessary.

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However, I tend to see both sides of everything and every situation in life, which can be both a blessing and a curse. When it comes to letting go of family or another loved one, of course it is hard to just say, stop treatment. It makes it feel so real that you will be losing that person. So I understand why so many people keep their loved ones alive on ventilators and feeding tubes, etc. I understand that they want to hold on to the hope, the hope that tells them that there will be a cure, or a way out. In the end, I tend to go back to the same thing, if it has been weeks with no signs of improvement, then I truly believe it is time to just stop. Let nature take its course, and just say goodbye. Because it isn’t a life, laying there in a bed, only breathing because of a machine.

So to answer the question, what should medicines do when they cannot save your life? I would definitely have to say one thing. I believe that if the medications are no longer enough to keep you healthy and active, then they should be used for making you comfortable at the end of life and keeping the pain away from the dying process. Because no one wants a painful death, so why not try and make it as easy and painless as we possibly can?

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Disney’s UP <3

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      The movie UP is a sweet, heart warming story. In the beginning of the movie Carl and Ellie meet as young kids, who both love adventure. As you get to know the characters the shy young boy Carl comes out of his shell a little when he is with Ellie, because she is wild and free spirited. As you begin to fall in love with both of the characters, they start to fall in love with each other. The first five minutes shows how they grow up, then end up getting married and going on so many adventures together. As they start to get older, Ellie becomes sick and dies, thus leading up to the opening of the movie. There sits a grumpy Carl a senior citizen who is depressed and alone now that is wife is gone. When she passes away he is so sad and decides to just let it overcome his entire life.

      I feel as though this is a very accurate depiction of what death in life is really like. When a loved one dies, especially a spouse, someone you see everyday, it has to be extremely hard to be motivated after that. The portrayal of death in this movie I don’t think is misleading at all. The audience is fully aware of Ellie’s death. Furthermore, the audience is probably more often than not, just as upset at this point, as Carl would be if he was a real person, and not just a cartoon.

      From my point of view, I would say that the media influences our understanding of death sometimes in the sense that they like to make it peaceful and simple. The people die in their sleep and they are forever comfortable. While really people are dying in hospitals, ambulances, in car crashes, murders, and from many different diseases that are anything close to comfortable. I feel as though the media masks the true heartache and disparity that can come with the death of a loved one. As I say that though, I also have to address that often times there are movies where people grieve their losses and the deaths aren’t always pretty. But, I would have to say that in general I feel like death in movies is often times simpler than real life. I think that the media influences us to think that death is as real as the movie that we are watching, everything works out, and will end up happy and beautiful in the end. When in reality sometimes life has loose ends and the sadness will never actually be gone, some part of you will always miss the person.

      Carl in this portion of the movie is a grumpy old man who sits inside like a hermit all day, I feel as though this only explains part of how people will react to death. This is because everyone is different. I don’t think that in one movie you can explain how death will affect everyone, because each life, and each story will be different. I think that the language in this movie shows that we are not all death denying but that verbally we tend to use other words for death. Or in this case specifically you visually get the point through visions of hospitals, tears, graves, and black colors. I think everyone knows that death will happen, and some people will deal with it differently than others.

      As this explanation of the movie focused mostly on the negative death in the first few minutes of the movie, it really does set the scene for the rest. Since I don’t like to spoil movies for people, and this is a Disney film, there is a happy ending, and a talking dog. If you haven’t seen this heart-warming movie yet, you have no life and should WATCH MORE MOVIES, only kidding, but for real, WATCH IT!! 😉