Friday, August 27, 2004

Tick Tock Little Clock

The slight feeling of guilt from going home early, translate itself into those piles of work lugged home in the bag, to be dumpped onto the floor, collecting dust and cobwebs and eventually returning to its place of origin, untouched.

Damn. It sure was heavy!

From my dear :)

On dying
First off, I am not depressed nor trying to be morbid.... perhaps just more contemplative than usual.

Dr Kubler-Ross has died. She of the 5 stages of grief fame (if you don't already know, and must know: denial, anger, depression, bargaining and acceptance). I learnt of her passing on in an article obtained through the google news aggregator.

Something attributed to Dr Kubler-Ross set me thinking. Now, I haven't got the original words (and I did not manage to find the article). But what she said (and I paraphrase) was that only by accepting death as part of life can one truly live.

Do we really accept death as part of our lives? Or do we merely have a intellectual (for want of a better word) understanding of death? For instance, a mere intellectual understanding would be to accept for instance that sun is 332,830 more massive than the earth. You may understand it, but do you KNOW it for a fact? An instance of a fact like, if you were to cut yourself, that you will definitely bleed.

Or rather do we bustle about our daily lives, planning for this and that. Never daring, always procrastinating to factor in death into our precious plans and ideals.

What it all comes to, is this...... MEANING.

If all of us were to really accept death as an inevitable and perfectly normal end-point, I guess all of us would really work the hell hard to make sure that there is MEANING and PURPOSE to the interim period that we all have.

I don't mean to say all of us have to be the next Mother Theresa, or Warren Buffett or win an Olympic gold medal. Just make sure that when it is your time to go, you can say "I have made of it the best I could, focussed on things that are truly important in life. I am ready to go."

What more important things are there in life other than relationships? With God, with family, with friends and people around us.

The enormity of it.... that if you can accept death as natural and inevitable. And from there, plan and live your life by concentrating on what is truly important, you can have serenity in your lives instead of constant striving and stress.

(By the way, I don't think I have the whole answer to this meaning-of-life and how-to-live-it thing yet. But I think this is one part of the answer.

And I am working on it.)

Dear me ... he's hatching blogs after blogs like nothing ... heh heh.

An absolute truth is that everyone will die.

I don't think I would mind very much, this dying business. After all, if there's no death, then what is life? There must be room to make way for the new stuffs and the living. I don't see what's so frightening about dying. It is definitely sad if someone close to you passes away ... but dying is part of life's experiences. The living still breathes.

Hence said, I would like to die after living a life with my love ones. To spend my living moments with hubby whom I love, work hard and enjoy myself and be happy. I think when I die, I would be a little regretful ... not that there are regrets about the life I had, but because I would not know what happened next. Curious ... you know, just curious to know what's going to happen next. Like, are we going back to the moon or are there aliens in space? Will we teraform Mars and stay there when Earth gets over-populated or shall we build buildings in the sea? :P

Living is perhaps like a story. A death would indicate the end of the story. How one makes up the story depends on what one wants. Maybe doing yoga teaches me to let go. I'm not sure if I believe in all these life after death thingy, afterlife etc. Perhaps when I get there, I'll know. All I want now is to be with my dear hubby and spend our moments together, and growing old together and being happy together.

I'm rather boring ... and mundane. :P

So ... why would I want to know when I'll die? That's rather a silly piece of knowledge, because it doesn't give one power over things. Inversely, it makes one powerless ... because that knowledge can be crippling. Hmm ... I've not thought over this carefully yet.

So we come to the age old arguement argument arguement ... (damn, is there an auto spellcheck in here? My spelling is attrocious!) whether to tell a patient that he has so and so many months to live. I've been thinking about this :P

In my very humble opinion, telling a person that he/she has say ... for example, lung cancer is a truth. After that, if the doctor were to tell him that he has so many months to live ... is actually not a truth. It is the opinion of the medical personal, the opinion obtained by statistical results based on many other cases before the person in question and from experience with the type of disease in particular. So telling a person he has only such many months to live is not a truth. It's just an educated opinion.

So I should think one is not obliged to make such an opinion. Since it is not a truth. If they really want to know ... perhaps a better answer would be .. yeah, you're dying (since everyone is dying anyway ... my cells are dying all the time. heh), or you could go into a lecture on statistics and data blah blah blah.


Okie, if I'm old and I become senile, I would like to have the choice of having a peaceful and dignified death instead of being a burden to other people since my mind is already gone. If I've lived a good many years and I'm suffering from some painful illness, I would like to be able to die and not be stuck to tubes and all that stuffs. What's the point of living till so old? Besides being curious about what's happening next. A good book, no matter how interesting or how enjoyable it is, when it comes to the end, you still have to close the book and keep it. There's no point lingering over it, wishing that the author will write a sequel, or hating the author for not continuing the story. All good things must come to an end. And they'll become memories, happy, sad, wistful, ... memories left in the morning mist for the loved ones.

Maybe we should be allowed to put something like that in the will before the mind goes.

But for a young one who wishes to commit suicide just because ... hmmm. That's still rather tricky. Or for an infant who was born disabled ... I don't think one should be allowed to make the choices for another living person, so perhaps just wait and see what happens next.

And finally there are those who are snatched from us so suddenly ... that's really tragic. We can only be resiliant.

Too much thoughts today. Shall kiv those last bits then.

I have just finished reading Agatha Christie's Sleeping Muder. Half way through the book, it struck me that I must have read the book before, because a. the story was horribly familiar; and b. I knew who the murderer was! Shucks ... are there any Agatha Christie's books which I have not read?


Next book: Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code. Seems like quite a popular book these days. And no, I didn't borrow if from my students after all ... aiyah, too paiseh to ask lah. heh.


Anonymous said...

Hi Kai here... plodded on in from reminisce's blog.. hope u dun mind

Just a little thought : wouldnt someone who's terminally ill want to have a rough idea of how long he has left? What then, if he asks the doctor (with teary-eyed earnesty) that fateful question?

Mebbe doctors can stress that its just an educated opinion --- but then, it still boils down to telling someone his remainning time left, no?

The way i see it : one of the invariable responsibilities thrust onto doctors --- every single time he faces a terminally ill patient --- is this. The truth is in his hands --- and the choice between ignorance ; or truth, is the doctors choice to make, never the patients. So what to choose when?
Perhaps reminisce was right --- a doctors most impt job was never the medical expertise --- but the judgement and experience, that follows.

And should that day come, i dun think 'd want to know how much time i have left, anyway. But thats just me.

(I think *little thought* just evolved into *long-winded post*. bah. sorry. :p)

Anonymous said...

Well ... actually I was thinking that if a person is terminally ill, either he is no longer conscious to know things around him, or perhaps is resigned to dying soon depending on how ill he is. And the issue re-m raised was actually whether it was to tell the patient the 'truth' ... so I'm just arguing that a doctor's experience and opinion is not a 'truth'. :P I was playing on the word, 'truth' you see. heh ... was just trying to be irritating. :P
Anyway, I must agree with you about the role of a doc. Sometimes it is more for comforting than anything too.
I'm not really sure right now if I want to know how many more years I have left if I'm terminally ill ... I'll know that if I ever reach that stage in my life. Hopefully by then I can choose to die peacefully and quickly with my love ones around me instead of dragging on. :)