Dying With Dignity …
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee
Let’s go to the mall, buy you something pretty to wear. I sat there … thought again … why waste money on pretty clothes when I’m not going to be needing them? Skip came back to tell me again to let’s go shopping … I told him I didn’t want to buy anything for me.
When Skip or Tommy would buy the Ty Beanie Babies for my collection … I would tell them to not spend a lot on them anymore. They would pay upwards to fifty dollars or whatever the Beanie Baby sold for … if they knew I liked it.
I didn’t need anything at all … for the rest of my life. I felt sad inside. No, I wouldn’t be buying anything for me … it was a waste of money.
I had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. The oncologist said she couldn’t promise anything … I could die. But … the good news was … people who got cancer would want the cancer I was stricken with. Why? ‘Now’ … people could … survive it.
I was too sick to sit, talk with others who were being treated for it. In the waiting room, Skip would do the talking. Skip was always positive … he ‘knew’ I was going to live. He was afraid of losing me … just as I was when later he was diagnosed with colon cancer.
Unknowing to Skip, I was deciding on ‘how I wanted to die’, if I found out I was dying at any point in time. I meant to have some control in my life … my … death.
I was determined to have in reach whatever I needed … if I needed to take matters into my own hands. I would take a bottle of medicine that was lethal. I would fall asleep without suffering any longer than I needed to. I wasn’t going to lay in a bed … knowing … that my end was near.
No … I was going to have control … why would I prolong my pain, my suffering if I were going to live. Why prolong my life if I could say goodbye with a smile … the way … I wanted to? Why let me lay there gasping for my last breath, looking horrible … leaving that picture in someone’s mind who loved me? I feel I should have the right to leave this damn earth … with a smile on my face.
I haven’t thought about this in years, until … I saw on the news about the 29 year old woman who had her ‘death medicine’ to take. She has brain cancer, and she is dying. She was taking control of when she wanted to die … November 2nd.
As I watched this young woman talk … I understood her. She should have the right to have control of her life … the moment when she was ready to let go of it. Why in the world would she want to suffer all the time it would take to lay there … dying?
This is a ‘Gloria Opinion’ … there’s no need for anyone to argue with me. I don’t do that … I know what I think … and I don’t come to my decisions to think a certain way, easily. I do a lot of thinking, listening, watching. I respect your opinions … know you do the same. It isn’t easy to do that.
People are jumping up and down about her decision to have control in her own death. Don’t you think if you have control of your … life … you should have control over your death if you are dying? Say your goodbyes, have the chance to talk to the people you love? I believe in this.
I think the people who jump up and down … are the people who have never had to face … death in the face. They don’t have the understanding of how it feels to … know you are going to die. Their bodies haven’t been through the surgeries, chemotherapy treatments, the painful tests, all it takes to help you survive cancer.
Yes, I would want to die with dignity, if I knew I was going to die. At that one time when ‘I knew’ … I was ready if I had to. The thing was … I never lost my will to fight.
Call it vain … call it what you will … I wouldn’t have wanted to lay in front of someone dying … making awful sounds, expressions of death. Doing this hour upon hour … suffering … making someone who loved me … suffer.
I would want to ‘do it my way’ … with my hair combed … my eyes filled with a smile, my Heart full of love … my voice soft … as I told the person I loved dearly … goodbye. I would want to let them hold my hand as I closed my eyes, laid me down to pure peace … died the way I wanted to.
Crazy? No, it isn’t. Strange? It might be. Working at a hospital, around patients of all types … watching many die … helped me form my ‘Gloria Opinion’.
I want to die when it’s time … with dignity.
Photo/Story Credit belongs to me, Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka #Granny Gee