How would you want to die?
Sorry! If that, came as an abrupt question. But, would you rather know that you have few days left or would you prefer to go suddenly. Most people who have been sick for a long time may have some premonitions that they probably don’t have much days to live.
But what if you are deliberately kept away from the truth and that in reality you only have a month or so left? Would that person feel robbed of the truth? Would that person feel that they could have done something or tried achieving for the last time, a lingering wish, had they been aware of their limited time frame?
Or would that spirited person, full of energy who enjoys life, have gone into a shallow state of depression?
It’s really confusing for me. I mean, we went to see a former colleague, now retired, almost of my mom’s age, who is not doing too well. We were aware of his condition, because his wife had informed us of the seriousness of his condition. But the truth is not known to our sick former colleague.
I have known him to be a proud man, dedicated to his work and someone who can talk endlessly. He could be a difficult person; but, when he worked under me as a team, I could completely rely on him to perform. And in spite of our vast age difference I never faced any discrepancies from his end.
What I am trying to figure out is whether a person should be told the truth about his ailment and see how he deals with it? Most people who know that they are in the final stage of cancer lack the spirit to fight back. It’s like a path of no return. And, from what I have seen or heard, its depression that kills the person sooner rather than the disease itself.
There are some people who when are aware of how close death is, feel spiritually motivated. It gives a sense of strength and something to look forward beyond death. It’s like a final phase to renounce themselves, before the final breath.
The question again is would they feel cheated of their life? Yes, they would have had more days to lie back on their bed and contemplate on their lives and be grumpy and miserable. And again if a person were to die suddenly, would he feel the same— cheated? In both cases the feeling would be that of hopelessness.
I have had my own share of experience with death, when I accidentally drove my car off the cliff. Luckily, the car got stuck on a tree and some thick foliage, preventing my fall all the way down. But the feeling as I was falling was terrifying. I had so wanted to eject out of my seat. I felt completely helpless and several things were running in my head. I could picture my severed face, my devastated parents, and all that in between my screams.
Death is inevitable. We don’t know when it would strike. But what if you knew, would you have lived differently? Perhaps it’s all a question of ‘what if’s’ and ‘maybe’ alone.
But, as John Donne, bravely defines death in his sonnet. It is but –
“One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.”
Keep the faith.