Dingo the Dissident

DINGO THE DISSIDENT : Qweir Notions in the Anus of Diogenes, weBlog of a nearly-octogenarian Binge-thinker since February 2008.
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Friday, 16 October 2020

On Death and Dying.

My neighbour Josette
who is 'three years my junior'
and has various ailments
says that what keeps her going
is curiosity about how things will turn out.

Of course 'things' are not cakes or crème brulée,
but keep on developing, fracturing, metamorphosing.
As for me, too, death is not dreadful at all.
My dread has always been our dreadfulness
and our malignant machinations;
that dread will die with me.

What worries me unduly is the prelude to the Great Release
from life's prison, the gradual incapacity, maybe pain - or worse.
Like Josette (and many) I'd like to exit suddenly:
a massive stroke or heart-attack (preferably in bed),
or even blown by bomb-blast into smithereens.
Meantime, in the freezer, I store The Other Means.

In many human cultures, for example Austria-Hungary
before the First World War, suicide was a respected act.
'The grieving relatives' were expected to get over it.
(I often wonder if the Wrong Side won that war.)

However,
if I were incapacitated (for example) by a partial stroke,
being a superannuated loner, with no relatives,
I'd be quite happy for the underpaid to give me morphine,
empty my bed-pan re-fit the catheter
(my morphine experience - while I listened to a surgeon saw off
the head of my femur - was wonderful)...

...except that I am too aware of the huge financial
and environmental cost
of keeping millions of people alive just for the doctrinal sake of it -
while slaughtering other people and animals
with horrible abandon -

except that food in French hospitals is vile and meaty,
no salads, no satisfaction let alone joie de vivre in eating it.
And if I were to be sent home
with underpaid carers to pop in and out, to do this and that
with catheters and needles,
I'd get similarly vile reheated meals delivered by a van.
In that case, I'd still have The Other Means
and probably manage to employ it.
But  I must remind myself
that very few of us suddenly become completely incapacitated
or fall into a coma. (NE PAS RÉANIMER* will shortly
be tattooed on my belly by the sexy inker just 3 minutes from my door.)

For millennia (despite the Christian and Muslim claim that Death
held no horrors for their kind of Believer)
it was the prospect of a gruesome Afterlife
which was so dreadful.  People did not live so long
nor die protractedly. Now, more and more of us
have no fear of a mediæval Hell.
We, in our moral decadence, just want to leave this life
unsufferingly, neatly, unbothered and untubed,
and, like ancient Greeks and Romans, well.

*DO NOT RESUSCITATE

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

What in the world went wrong that you were awake while they
were sawing your bones off?
You make an absolute nightmare sound like an interesting experience. :)

Wofl said...

Nothing went wrong. I was given morphine, which removed all the pain without blocking my consciousness,without 'putting me under'. I was able to talk to the assistants - and to smell the burning bone under the electric saw. Yes, it was a great experience, but either the operation or the original bone-splitting fall (or both) effected a character change. I became much less sociable, much less able to cope with the chatter and small-talk which passes for conversation. Solitude now suits me even better- and is most convenient during the Covid-19 pandemic. I am not a great hand-washer.