Sara’s story is one we all truly fear. A sickness which doesn’t care if you eat healthy, maintain physical fitness or avoid bad habits is always lurking, cancer. As anyone would do, she decided to fight the cancer against all odds; was it worth it? She travelled down the path of heavy medication, refusing to let go as her condition worsened and terrible reactions took place. In the end, it couldn’t save her life; what should medicine do when it can’t save your life?
In circumstances where medicine can no longer save someone’s life, I still believe it is an important tool for easing pain and allowing for smoother final days. In a case such as Sara’s, I feel that medicine should have been limited to assisting her comfort needs instead of being used as a last ditch effort while tearing her body apart. With terminal cases, it’s wrong to watch a patient become sicker as they fight a hopeless battle, instead of having let them live their final days at peace. Of course it’s very easy to say I wouldn’t commit the same mistake in using medication past its limits if I were in such a situation; it all comes down to deciding between quality vs. quantity of life. Some people may value their final short days feeling happy, while others would suggest sacrifices to elongate life as long as possible in worsened conditions. Just as the title, her situation was simply about letting go. She was afraid, not ready to accept death and let go of her life and newborn baby. It’s true that we live in a death denying culture; always dodging death and fearing it when it’s all around and inevitable. I can’t imagine refusing medication and facing death without fear, but one day we’ll surely all have to make the call.
AMC’s The Walking Dead displays the effects of death surrounding a group of characters in a world of panic and disorder. The show involves coping with the death of loved ones, as well as the zombies with seemingly no souls.
In the case of zombies, death and killing are a necessary evil for the group as they struggle to survive against them. In the beginning, Rick Grimes (the main protagonist) displays a great amount of reluctance in ending zombie lives as it challenges his morals and previous memories of the world without chaos. The group struggles with whether it’s necessary to bury or burn the dead, and especially finds difficulty without the time to acknowledge the happenings around them. Interesting enough, Rick and his group later display no hesitance in ending the zombies’ lives and feel unobligated to treat their bodies to proper burial ceremonies. The lack of sympathy for the dead becomes easier as the zombies seem only as empty, soulless shells of whom they once were. The show raises interesting questions in how we, as humans, should be considered dead in regards to the heart stopping or our soul leaving the body.
On several occasions, members of the group are infected and must quickly cope with the situation they’ve been dealt. A woman named Andrea is faced with holding her infected sister in her arms as she waits for her to turn; the show portrays universal truth in that she begs for more time and apologizes for all her past mistakes towards her sister. Later, a man named Jim is infected and chooses to deny his state as he hides it from the group. Often, people who find they are sick in society today either choose to deny their state or hide it from their loved ones as long as they can in order to deny death for as long as possible.
The group faces many more deaths as they fight the zombie apocalypse, including Rick’s own wife which leaves him mentally broken and in a state of despair. Although they are living in a shattered world where rules and morals are lost, the group displays many truths in denying death that can be related to our world today.