– 春日醉起言志, 李白
ah, it has been a while, hasn’t it? I’ve been putting off getting the computer fixed, which remains my go-to excuse for having sporadic posts.
the boss is away for her very well-deserved sabbatical break (5 whole weeks of radio silence!!) – I feel like I’m on spring break too~ there are no long-ass meetings scheduled, no sudden meetings called, and definitely no random interruptions when you’re trying to focus on something. (not that I’m focusing on work, considering that I’m here typing up a post, but it’s the thought that counts.)
I’m not at the age where I’m particularly worried about my own mortality, and to be honest, I tend to live life on the more lackadaisical side – if I should die tomorrow, then so be it, since there’s nothing you can do about it, you might as well go with some grace. indeed, I think I would rather die in a flash than in a prolonged battle – a battle that you will lose, along with any semblance of dignity you thought you had.
Ignorance is bliss – but isn’t withholding crucial information simply cruel? Sure, you might say that we don’t know when we are all going to die. Technically we could die tomorrow in a freak accident or you could have a fatal heart attack randomly. However, if you have a medical condition and your doctor makes a prognosis on your life expectancy, do you have the right to know what are the estimates? Or should you remain unaware, so you can believe that a miracle may happen for you, and death goes back to his domicile instead?
What is the correct action here? To provide all the necessary information and risk causing a mental blow to the patient, or to withhold the painful knowledge and pretend everything is fine?
I know my own preference – to live with the unvarnished truth, and to know that all is mortal; to have an end date to the pain and suffering that you would face when dealing with a terminal illness. It’s easier to hope for a painless death than to dream of a miracle, after all. In fact, I’d rather to be put out of my misery than to cling on to the wispy threads of hope, because hope is more treacherous than an enemy in the dark. You are merely extending your own suffering for the slimmest chance.
But of course, this is my opinion, and I can’t assume that everyone would subscribe to my fatalistic approach. I know that my relative doesn’t. He is still hoping for a cure – he believes that the doctors would be able to come through with a solution. He doesn’t know that the doctors can’t do much – won’t do much? In terms of having a lot of options available, few would help, and most come with a great risk attached. I can’t help but feel sorry for him.
Putting aside the medical issues, there’s also the whole messy complication of afterlife arrangements to consider. As always, with any disaster, vultures flock to the scene, waiting, scavenging, seeing if there are any avenue of weakness to exploit. And it’s easy for accusations or bad blood to flourish, to bring up resentment or to push signs of blame to another person, rather than admitting that you had any faults or that you were a prick to the person when they were still well. We are kinder to the ill than to the whole, aren’t we?
All that remains is a waiting game – and for some to pray for a miracle, like snow in July.