Use Your Words - Celebrate Life

Today’s post is writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once, and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are: 

dubious ~ ostentatious ~ hunger ~ freedom ~ get out of town ~ aberration

They were submitted by 
The Angrivated Mom - thank you, Steena!

I had to look up two out of six words, and this is what I came up with:

I just noticed that the hardest one -ostentatious- is missing...

Now may I write about anything and everything?

I have something on my mind.

Last month one of my neighbors died. He was in his early 60s and suffered from MS. Still I was a bit surprised. I didn't know that his condition had deteriorated that much.

When I moved here, he was still able to walk and work from home. Over the years he went from crutches to regular to electric wheelchair, and when I tried to remember when I last saw him, I couldn't. Turned out he hadn't been able to leave the house since last fall. 

It was on Monday when there was no school due to the teacher being sick. We heard about it the night before, and I offered to look after some of C's friends. In the morning his best buddy Eric came to our house, and it was his birthday. No school was his best present, he said.

Before lunch C walked him to kindergarten where E's grandparents were going to pick up his younger brother and him.

Then C picked up his other friend F, and when they walked into the house they were a little alarmed. 

"There's a police car out front" they said. 

I didn't think much of it. Somebody in the neighborhood works for the police, and even though he didn't usually took a "company car" home, it had happened before. 

Then hubby came home for lunch, and the boys went to play, and we forgot about it.

Until a couple of days later when we got the death notice. There was something about the words they chose - plus the fact that the police were here on the day he passed away - that made me think my neighbor didn't just randomly die - but chose to do so. 

"Get out of town" hubby said. "What makes you think so?"

"Death is the gate to the light at the end of a path that has become tiresome" the card said.

Also they didn't invite to the funeral but to a farewell service.

Sure enough in church his brave teenage granddaughter spoke about his hunger for life, his passion for traveling, and how he couldn't do that anymore. He had been to a rehab facility recently, however they couldn't help. His every move caused him pain. So on a sunny Sunday afternoon he gathered his family and closest friends, and they said their goodbyes.

The next day he must have had a visitor from an assisted suicide organization. There is nothing dubious about this. The freedom of self-determination till the end has been legal in Switzerland for many years. 

Of course you can't just make a phone call and ask somebody to help kill yourself.

You need to be of sound judgement, and your condition must be desperate and / or terminal (confirmed by your doc in writing). Also you must be able to sign a document expressing your explicit wishes to end your life, and you must be able to swallow the yucky tasting pentobarbital sodium for which you need a doctor's prescription.

This made me think. 

  1. How does one start this process? 
  2. How long does it take for all the paperwork to go through and obtain the "green light"? 
  3. How much courage does it take to say "enough is enough"
  4. How do you set a date?

I did a lot of reading. In Switzerland there are two main organizations, Dignitas and Exit - interestingly their websites are available in English. The reason for this is that obviously quite some people whose country's laws are less liberal than ours go through a lot of trouble to travel to Switzerland to end their lives. Talk about a last journey. 

  1. You sit down and write a request to one of the organizations, talking about your life of suffering and why you want to end it.
  2. Usually between one and three months.
  3. I have no idea. At some point it may actually take more courage to live and endure the pain?
  4. Once all the paperwork is done it's up to you. Interestingly, only about 25% of the people asking for help, end up going through with it. All the others are so comforted and relieved to have arranged for a way out, they keep it as an option and end up dying of natural causes.

When I started writing this, I had no idea where it was going to take me. I was hoping to actually use more of my words, like aberration (how was I supposed to squeeze that one in?) but I didn't. Yeah, well. 

So here I am. How do I even close a post like this? 

  • Life is short, make it an enjoyable one!
  • Don't sweat the small stuff, it's not worth it.
  • Work out your living will and advanced directives, organ donor cards, etc.

Thank you for reading.

Here's a video of Brittany Maynard, a brave young woman who was diagnosed with stage 4 brain tumor and decided to pass away before the symptoms were going to be too devastating:

Now go find out what my friends' words were, and what they did with them:

Baking In A Tornado 
Spatulas on Parade 
The Momisodes
The Bergham Chronicles
Southern Belle Charm
Dinosaur Superhero Mommy
Confessions of a part time working mom 
Someone Else's Genius
Battered Hope
Sparkly Poetic Weirdo
The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver
The Angrivated Mom