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How Do You Want To Die?

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We all know that death will come to each of us. But, if you had a choice given by God or his angels, of how you would die, what would you choose? I guess in one sense, it really does not matter because dead is dead and how it happens is a moot point, but people living often think of this and when it might happen and whether they would want to know these answers.

There are plenty of shows that explore what happens after death, like Surviving Death, which gives compelling reasons to believe that people have died for minutes or hours only to come back and tell the world about what it was like. It seems those that come back are ones where their time to die was not then but much later and are told so. It is then then return to their bodies etc.

There seems to be two primary ways to die:

1. Suddenly with little warning

2. A prolong health decline with no remedy do to disease or just age

Having experienced both types from family members, both have their benefits. My dad died suddenly over a course of an hour from a stroke and brain aneurysm while on vacation. My mom described it as a dam cracking slowly with a few symptoms she was suspicious of and during the rush to the hospital, it just broke, allowing the clot to travel to the brain. The last thing he said to her was, "I can't find my glasses", which were in his hand. By the time they had arrived, he was dead. Travel time was just 20 minutes. Nobody had time to say any goodbyes etc. It was just BAM and life continued to zip by like nothing happened.

My mom died from lung cancer discovered just four months before she died. Her death was slow and lengthy by comparison. While there was plenty of time to plan and be together, off and on, it was stressful and required sacrifices from our daily lives and work. It was a steady, slow, decline for her and she hated to burden her kids. The medication for pain disrupted her ability to speak coherently at times, and our discussions were just sad affairs as we all knew the outcome. It was depressing to see a once vibrant 78 yr. old woman the year before, falling apart and needing oxygen to walk due to COPD. When death was near, she had finally accepted this fact and said she had had a good life. The coma took her away.

Which way is a better way to die? I guess it depends on the amount of love you have for the person. While my Dad's death was shocking and sudden, it was also a done deal. My Dad and I were not close for a variety of reasons, so on that fateful day when my mom called, the news did not bring me to tears at that moment, it was just a numb disbelief that disrupted my work day. My parents were thousands of miles away. There was nothing to do. We had talked just a few days before and they were having a great time. He died at a moment where my life was in turmoil with a divorce, custody of kids, and just work. Death was a nuisance but I did grieve.

Mom and i were much closer and her death greatly impacted me afterwards and during the last month she was alive. It was hard to see her in this capacity. She looked as if she was in pain all the time. Luckily, there was just minimum financials to worry about after her death. She had pretty much planned her own death with a detailed Will, instructions about her cremation and appropriate paperwork for both. Medical bills had all been dealt with by her insurance. Most of the work left was getting rid of her belongings she had, even this, was minimum for her. She must have got rid of things herself.

For me, being able to say final goodbyes with my mom was important despite how hard the previous months were in her decline. Her final request before she died was, "Can you get me some grape juice"? I did, and she took it and drank it as if it was champagne, savoring it. The looked at me and said, " Hmmm, that is so good", grinning one more time. She closed her eyes and would never come back.

Naturally, we had said all the goodbyes and I love you many times before this final curtain dropped. But still, to this day (now over 20 yrs), my eyes tear up thinking of this.

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How do you want to die?


perrya (author) on January 17, 2021:

I tend to agree, if given a choice, a sudden or fairly sudden death is easier on those remaining loved ones. While my mom had a more drawn out time of four months, it was still hard to watch and deal with.

DW Davis from Eastern NC on January 16, 2021:

Yes. I have experience both with loved ones.

Though the sharp pain of my sudden loss would be difficult, I personally feel that watching me die a death by a thousand cuts is much worse, especially if I were suffering during that time.

perrya (author) on January 16, 2021:

So, you choose a more sudden death or unexpected versus one that is over a course of months of gradual decline and one expected by others?

DW Davis from Eastern NC on January 15, 2021:

First, please allow me to extend my condolences on the loss of your parents.

As to how I would like to die, if I could script it, I would pass quietly whilst sitting in my camp chair under a longleaf pine at a campground somewhere near the NC coast.

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