Some of the discussions we have in the house are rather humorous and others are serious. Because we both love to engage in exploring ideas, pushing boundaries and debating things can become rather excited even over mundane things.
I recall having rather lengthy debates about things such as how to hang the toilet paper, where to store the pots and pans, to sleep with open windows in the bedroom and so on. Some of these debates became too funny to carry on and others ran out.
The serious stuff hardly ever receives the same treatment. When I learned that a former coworker’s wife had ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and was looking at how to die with dignity I was taken aback. Not just because of the diagnoses, but because of how she wanted some control over an illness that removes all control from life.
When I mentioned the situation to Beloved he was surprised that this lady would want to know exactly when and how her life ended. Now this could easily have become a debate about dying with dignity, but Beloved didn’t go there. He simply said a small prayer for the couple and then one of thanksgiving that he didn’t have to face that.
He knows how I feel about this, he tries to understand what it’s like for someone like me whose body is destroying itself, to have some control and dignity. He doesn’t though, not really and I can’t blame him.
I’m not saying that I have plans to hop on a plane and zip over to Switzerland any time soon. I’m just saying there is something to be said, when you are robbed of everything including your basic dignity, to have some say in things.
I think, for a number of people who are facing a terminal illness, there is a sense of relief in knowing that they can have the final say in how they spend their last moments, and at what act in this play called life we make our exit stage left. How many people actually go through with it, versus the number that plan it is no doubt different.
But in our house, there is no debate over this because who is to say the decision another person makes is right or wrong? In the end, it is that person’s decision alone, and in our house, the partner is there as support. But I doubt that the partner would make the decision without considering the items left behind.