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Meeting Death on Your Own Terms and Dignified Deaths

 
steward
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This is a quote from Elegant Simplicity that resonated with me, a lot:

"Anchi Devi is fasting to death.' People came from far and wide, they sat near her, singing sacred songs. They thanked her for her kindness. For nearly a month, she lived on boiled water. During this time, there was celebration, music, chanting, people asking for forgiveness, people giving forgiveness, and saying goodbye. Thus she died peacefully and happily."

When it comes close to my time, I do not want to die in a hospital bed. I wish to and hope to die in a dignified manner, like this, or to make my peace by wandering into the forest and never returning. Something where I can die mostly on my own terms and mostly in a peaceful manner.









How would you like to die?

How would you like the end of your life to be like?

Why would you want it that way?
 
pollinator
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I've seen cancer and, if I end up with a terminal case, I'm going out on my own terms.  

I told my daughter that when I think I am close, I am going to rent a loader, dig a hole, poise the full scoop above the hole, nick the hydraulics and then lay down in the hole.  I'd also be up for skydiving into a volcano.
 
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For at least 30 years I've been telling everyone that I would prefer firing squad. Go out with a bang. The volcano seems like a neat idea. You'd want to leave a really good note so they don't blame the skydiving company that you're obviously not going to tell that you have no intention of touching the ripcord.

I don't know any Mafia Bosses, but on TV they often hang out at nice restaurant. I suppose I could sneak in and give him a good kick in the nuts. Problem is I just want the firing squad, I don't have to have my toenails ripped out first. And I wouldn't really want to do it until I'm too old to really give a good solid kick. :-)
 
pollinator
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Dale Hodgins wrote:
I don't know any Mafia Bosses, but on TV they often hang out at nice restaurant. I suppose I could sneak in and give him a good kick in the nuts.



Got a 100% genuine LOL from this :)
 
Dale Hodgins
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It might go like this
Screenshot_2019-04-19-09-04-56-1.png
This a dead man just kicked me in the nuts. I want him alive when he reaches the pig pen
This a dead man just kicked me in the nuts. I want him alive when he reaches the pig pen
Screenshot_2019-04-19-09-07-06-1.png
[Thumbnail for Screenshot_2019-04-19-09-07-06-1.png]
You've made a big mistake you little wanker!
Screenshot_2019-04-19-09-05-29-1.png
I'm going to enjoy this
I'm going to enjoy this
 
Dale Hodgins
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My friend's mother wanted a very dignified burial that did not pollute. She was placed in a very simple coffin and buried in the natural section of the graveyard amongst the trees. Then native plants from the area were planted over the spot. It doesn't look like a graveyard at all. There are large stones in several spots , each containing the names of dozens of people. But other than that it looks like any other section of natural forest. There won't be any lawn mowing or other maintenance, except for pathways and dropping of dangerous dead trees, so it's safe for visitors.
 
master gardener
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I knew an older gentleman who passed away naturally in his garden when he went out to tend it one day, and they estimated due to the cause of death, that it was very quick if not almost instant. He was such a sweet and caring man.

I know we don't get to choose how we go, but that would have to be at the top of my list.
 
Dave Burton
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Another method of meeting death on my own terms that I think I might be with hemlock tea. I might also consider some adventurous ways of going out with a bang, like skydiving, whitewater rafting, or just going on as many high-danger thrill-seeking adventures as possible when I reach old age.

But regardless of the method, I would still want it to be either full of celebrations, full of joy, filled with family, full of adventure, and a sense of peace and happiness.

As for burial, I'd think I'd most likely want a hot or cold composting of my body, a green burial, a fungal shroud, or some other way of just helping my body get recycled biologically back into the earth.
 
Dale Hodgins
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It's pretty cool how they feed people to the carnivorous birds in the Himalayas. They have a guy who is designated to chop the bodies into sizes the birds can fly off with.

It'll be pretty neat if somebody decided to become sausage meat by secretly having themselves added to the Killing Floor slop that currently goes into sausages and hot dogs. Then, a year later, their lawyer opens the envelope that explains what happened to him, since that was his instructions. By this time all of the sausages have been consumed.:-)

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YwRvWT0kaeQ

I want to be made into Soylent Green.
 
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Steve Thorn wrote:I knew an older gentleman who passed away naturally in his garden when he went out to tend it one day, and they estimated due to the cause of death, that it was very quick if not almost instant. He was such a sweet and caring man.

I know we don't get to choose how we go, but that would have to be at the top of my list.



Having spent thousands of hours with hundreds of people coming to the end of their lives, I've noticed that death is just as dignified as life. How people choose to die is a natural result of how they chose to live. It's funny that the most surprised are the secularists, for God has a terrific sense of humor.
 
Dave Burton
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We talked about the Himalaya sky burials in my Food and Culture class, because the professor wanted to make a strong point making preparations for what looks like possible consumption of a body does not necessarily imply cannibalism. Because the sky burial includes the chopping up of the human body and putting it in a vessel for transport (that looks like it could be used for cooking).

These people who see old age as a never ending adventure are kind of good examples of what I am thinking about for when I eventually reach old age.

Sue Pitham wrote:I think the first one was a bit of a death wish, to be honest... But then he realized he was an adrenaline junkie.



I think it is interesting how other cultures look at and treat death.



I like the work that is being done with death cafes to open up intimate discussions about death and dying and giving people some place to seek solace and comfort.



I think it would be interesting to expand the concept of death cafes, beyond helping the living, to also include a sacred place for people to leave this world in the companionship of others. For, I think there also may be a need for individuals who have reached old age or have a terminal illness, through whatever circumstances may have no one left to care for them, to have be able to be surrounded by and comforted by and celebrated by other humans, even if they are not family or friends. I think providing human contact, support, comfort, and celebration- no matter who it comes from- is a good thing to do. For, I think there are people out there who die in hospitals alone, and I think that is perhaps the saddest way to die. I think expanding the concept of death cafes to also let people leave, while surrounded by other people, might be a nice thing to do.
 
pollinator
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Death effects the living just as much as the one who dies. We all live with the loss of those close to us. Death is a communal journey, not a private one. This dampens my interest in trying to determine "how I go."

If we're talking is terminal illness I feel like making it all about my decision and my right to dignity ignores the societal solidarity to which I owe my existence. I feel it fundamentally selfish--in fact, the epitome of our individualistic society--to say that my way is better for everyone than nature's way.

To have the privilege of carrying for another is one of life's most precious gifts. Just look at a parent's care for an infant. End of life is another one of those times. If our society is so impersonalized that a terminally ill person is only a burden that others should not have to bear, then that needs to change. And if I, were I terminally ill, think that my manner of death is of primary concern, then I have insulted all those who are committed to and priviledged enough to share this life with me no matter what. They are blessed in the care of me. And there is a comfort for them in knowing that death was out of our control--a comfort that I steal from them in taking control myself.

Yes, death can be long, arduous, painful and undignified. And all of it contributes to the maturity, patience and compassion of those who remain. Dying with patience is a last gift of character we can leave behind.
 
Dale Hodgins
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I think we left Nature's Way behind a long time ago. Extending the end of life is hugely expensive for society  and often painful and financially debilitating for the family. .
 
Nathanael Szobody
pollinator
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Dale Hodgins wrote:I think we left Nature's Way behind a long time ago. Extending the end of life is hugely expensive for society  and often painful and financially debilitating for the family. .



As a permie, I'm trying to get back to nature's way :-) As far as the expense goes... What's money for?
 
Dale Hodgins
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Nathanael Szobody wrote:

Dale Hodgins wrote:I think we left Nature's Way behind a long time ago. Extending the end of life is hugely expensive for society  and often painful and financially debilitating for the family. .



As a permie, I'm trying to get back to nature's way :-) As far as the expense goes... What's money for?



To me, money is for the living. It's not for very expensive funerals or expensive Medical Treatments when there should be a funeral instead.
 
pollinator
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I've been thinking about growing a ton of papaver and make an overdose of opiates and go lay down in the forest when my time has come.
 
Greg Mamishian
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Nathanael Szobody wrote:Yes, death can be long, arduous, painful and undignified.



Anyone can meet an undignified death with dignity.
because dignity cannot be found in death itself,
but rather can only be in us by how we meet it.
 
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