Is it just me?

When we reach 70 years or more, haven’t we EARNED, as human beings, the right to decide if we want to end our life?  Where do you stand on assisted suicide?  I would rather die than merely exist.

If I was in an accident and a vegetable, I would want someone to pull the plug.  For me, it would be the most loving, humane tribute.  I would never want to be a burden on people if my mind wasn’t there.  The emotional costs of caring for a loved one is devastating and that’s not even taking into consideration the financial burden.

If I was in an accident and died I would want them to use every piece of me that would be of use.  Cut me up, spread me around the country, the world.  Give my eyes to a lady in Florida and my big toe to a guy in Mexico.  Make my hair into a wig for a child who loses theirs from chemo and give my bones to dogs to chew on.

When Josh and I got married he said he didn’t want to be a donor.  I think it was more about the fear of death than anything else.  Now I think he feels differently, (right, honey)?  Either way, if he was gone, really gone for sure…I would want him to be as generous in his death as he has been in his life and I would say CUT, CUT, CUT!!!

I told him when I die (because I’m going first, it was part of our marriage vows) that he is to cremate whatever is left of me in my pajamas.  I am never more happy cuddled on the couch with my boys in my pajamas…that’s how I want to be forever.

Josh said when we die we should both be cremated and mixed so we would be together for all eternity.  Awww…so sweet he is.  Then he says “it’ll be like we’re having sex FOREVER.”  Isn’t he romantic??  If you are family…we NEVER do that…Finn was delivered by stork.

My best friend’s father passed away unexpectedly a couple summers ago.  I tried to be there for her in all ways that I could think of.  I couldn’t imagine saying goodbye to my mom, especially without warning and so before her time.  Our traditions in this culture shocked me.  I saw my friend transform herself into a robot to complete what was expected of her.  The night before his funeral she had to be at his wake for hours, making conversation, being polite as people offered their sympathy.  Then after the funeral, she had to make nice as she fed everyone who attended.

I know not one of those people was there for any other reason than to offer the family their sympathy and tell his family how much he positively affected them in their lives.  And he did…he was a great man.  Yet, at the time, it seemed like the worst kind of torture to ask his mother and children to pretend to care what these other people had to say.  It seemed almost like the most horrible thing to ask his family to do.  I loved him…he always called me daughter #2.  I felt like I had more of a chance to grieve for him than his own children did.

We had two family members pass this fall.  We sent a card to let them know we were thinking of them during their time of grief.  Nearly immediately thank you cards arrived.  You could have knocked me over with a feather.  REALLY?  Your husband or daughter passes and you’re expected to send a THANK YOU card?  Is that just added onto the expectations that you are supposed to get through when your loved one passes?

Let me tell everyone now.  If Josh or immediate family passes I WILL NOT be at the wake.  I’ll try to make it to the funeral…you’ll be able to find me by the sound of my sobbing.  And if you’re waiting for a thank you card…I can guarantee it WON’T be there before at least a year has passed.  If you have a problem with that…well I don’t give a shit because I’ll be buried under my covers.

I have been lucky that I haven’t had to go through these tortures rituals because no one very close to me has passed on (knock on wood).  I was talking to someone who’s husband had died and she was telling me that she thought it was very rude that one of her grandson’s hadn’t come to the funeral (because he lived across the country) and hadn’t sent a sympathy card.  I couldn’t believe it.  This person was grieving the loss of his grandfather and he was expected to send a sympathy card to his grandmother?

Is it just me…or do other people think this is extra torture that we’re asked to go through when a loved one passes on?

I believe very strongly when someone goes out of their way to think of you and spends their precious time and hard earned money on you the very least we can do is write them a thank-you card.  Our wedding thank you’s were written on the plane ride to our honeymoon.  I know that people are “allowed” something like 6 months get their thank you’s out…but if you had less than 1,000 people at your wedding and you take that long…I totally judge you.  And if you plaster a wedding picture onto your thank you’s and have a generic thank you typed inside…I also totally judge you.

But thank you’s when you’re grieving?  That’s inhumane…at least that’s how it seems to me.  What do you think?

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6 Responses to Is it just me?

  1. Barbara says:

    I’m totally for being a donor, but against assisted suicide, for many reasons, but one of them is I don’t want my death to be on anyone else’s hands. As long as I’m alive, God can use me in some way that I probably don’t understand, and when my job is over, he’ll take me home. Just my belief.

    I believe that it is so important to follow the persons wishes. It is so important that they are followed…because every person has the right to make that choice for themselves. However, the part that gets me riled up is that it has been made so that people CAN’T choose to go that route if they don’t want to. It is a very interesting point you make…I don’t want my death to be on anyone else’s hands…I never thought of it that way. Very valid point.

    :) Kate

  2. honey i’m with you. i fully believe in assisted suicide. i voted for it when oregon had it on their ballot. And i want whats still reusuable to be donated, what’s left cremated and my ashes scattered in the wind. just set me free.

    Yes…wouldn’t we all be so lucky as to be set free? The other important change I feel needs to be made is that people have to “opt-out” of being a organ donor. If people feel that strongly about not doing that…they should have to put some effort into it. Here if people don’t specify they are not donors. A lot of people are not informed, lazy, or feel that by saying they would be donors they are saying they’re going to die and then are not used as donors…I think it should be the opposite. People don’t want to think about dying and so they ignore it.

    :) Kate
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  3. I dont really know where I stand on this. Personally, I dont think I agree with assisted suicide though.

    It’s one of those things that we don’t really have to face until we have to face them…and then we may feel differently or exactly the same as we imagined. To me, the most important part is not if you agree or disagree but that your family respects your wishes.

    :) Kate
    Constructive Attitude recently posted..If you havent met Chuckle- then heres your introductionMy Profile

  4. Tracey says:

    When my grandparents died (two years apart) my mother insisted I do the eulogies at their funerals. I have never ever forgiven her for that.

    I could never stand up and speak for someone that is that close to me at their funeral. One that I attended this fall was the best funeral, most touching (if you can classify a funeral as good) and after the minister spoke he left the floor open and anyone could come up and say whatever was in their hearts. At first I felt so horrible because I didn’t think people would get up…but then we listened to stories from his friends and family for about 30 minutes. I was so moved. What a way to pay tribute to his life! His grandchildren spoke, his daughter spoke (I don’t know how they managed…but there words were beautiful), and a lot of his friends spoke…some who had traveled great distances to come. It was so wonderful to hear what an affect his life had on others. If I could plan my own funeral, I would want something like that. But it’s only good if those people WANT to speak…not if they’re forced because then it’s a miserable experience for you. It was night and day from another funeral where the minister hadn’t even known the person who passed and spend an hour telling us about what he had heard from others. We were celebrating the life of a great man and we had to listen to someone go on and on who had never met him.

    I guess it just goes to show you…everyone’s different. It’s a tough thing…saying goodbye. I would be so miserable to speak…but it can be healing if it’s your choice. I’m sure there are as many different ways to pay tribute to their life as there are people on this planet.

    :) Kate
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  5. Ferd says:

    Yeah, I think it is just you. And that’s totally alright. Others might have a different point of view and different “expectations,” and that’s okay with me, too. I spent way too much of my life trying to live up to other people’s expectations. Hell, it was hard enough just to be true to my own! Today, I do what seems right to me. I try to see things from another’s perspective, and to respect that as much as possible, but I don’t feel obliged to do something that is burdensome just to comply to another person’s arbitrary set of rights and wrongs. If that upsets them, well that’s their problem. I don’t lose sleep over shit like that anymore.
    Conversely, in my old age, I am better at accepting people the way they are. I finally realized that people have been accepting me, even with my faults and character defects, for all my life. When I realized I am not God, that I am far from perfect, it made it easier to accept people with their own imperfections. If they don’t send me a thank you note, no big deal. Boundaries for angry and abusive people are a different story, though. They have little or no place in my life.

    Yes, you’re totally right.
    :) Kate
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  6. maggie says:

    I definitely think one of the greatest gifts of my profession is euthanasia. I can look at a patient who is suffering, who is fighting a losing battle against a terminal illness, and when I say “There is nothing else we can do” I get to give their family a chance to say goodbye and end the suffering once and for all. I think the choice to euthanise an animal in unending pain is often the kindest thing you can do for that animal.
    I definitely have wished it was an option in human medicine – modern medicine has become so good at keeping people alive NO MATTER WHAT… but at what cost? One of my biggest fears is ending up with a body riddled with cancer, with nothing left to do but lay around, numb the pain, and wait to die. The idea sickens me.

    On a lighter note, I laughed out loud at the ashes and sex forever comment ;D

    As for the rituals around death/funerals… can’t say I understand them. I hate expectations… I wouldn’t want to make someone feel obligated to thank me for sending my sympathies. That being said, I always greatly appreciate any note of thanks I get – but I certainly do not expect someone who is grieving to give a rat’s arse about my feelings. And on any occasion -weddings, funerals, whatever – I would rather no thank you ntoe at all vs something impersonal and mass produced.
    I coudln’t make it to a friend’s wedding, and sent a card along with a friend who could go… and the thank you card i got back was JAMMED full of handwritten notes from both bride & groom. I will treasure that card for years after the mass produced, typed ‘thank you’ cards get chucked…

    I didn’t go to my grandmother’s funeral.. my dad pretty much told me not to (I was struggling in school as it was, and had a second try remake exam the following week, and the funeral was half way across the country). But he knew I wanted to be there, and that was enough.

    I couldn’t agree more about the thank you notes…they mean so much. For the ones we sent out for our wedding I wrote 75% of them and then to the people we were closest to (our immediate family and closest friends) Josh and I both wrote on the card and after I read what he wrote I went and made a copy because it was the sweetest thing ever. I’m not sure he even knows that to this day. On my mom’s he said, thanks for raising Kate to be this great person I get to spend the rest of my life with and on his parents he wrote thanks for raising me to be the kind of man that deserves to spend my life with Kate. It was the sweetest thing ever in the entire world. They had to appreciate those cards! That’s when you know you have a keeper!
    :) Kate
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