Sunday, July 22, 2018

Senicide

Senicide is the abandonment to death, suicide, or killing of the elderly.

I'm getting old and falling apart. Not looking for sympathy here. It's just a fact of life everybody goes through who lives long enough to get old. I don't want to put my children through the stress of taking care of me in my old age. Frankly, the idea disgusts me, and I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling this way. However, I also don't want to burden my kids through the stigma associated with suicide. How much better would it be if there was a societally acceptable way to shuck off this mortal coil, without causing undue distress to loved ones? (see previous post 'Resolution')

We are burdens, fellow old folks, plain and simple. We eat up medical resources faster than a whale feasting on krill. We take advantage of our childrens' love and sense of duty by stealing their time and money. Oh, we pitch in here and there when we can, but on the whole we are bleeding the younger generations dry. On top of that, our ludicrous attempts to extend our lifetimes through any means possible is a huge factor in our planet's human reproduction blues. Let it go, senior citizens, and realize that WE are the biggest turds in the toilet bowl.

I'm not saying run out into the shed and shoot yourself this minute, although I personally see suicide, especially the rightly motivated kind, as an honorable and unselfish act. As per my previous post, I believe that we can approach this subject carefully and kindly as a culture. I mean, we all die anyway, right? Why not take our deaths into our own collective hands, by enacting new traditions that support a cooler approach to an otherwise explosively emotional subject? And while we're at it, lets put an upper age limit on who can run for elected office, let some new blood take the reins. I swear, if I see one more bony-handed octogenarian pontificating about foreign policy as seen through the lens of the Franco-Prussian war, I'll fall off my walker!

Btw, I've opened up moderated comments for the time being, in case you want to sound off on this very controversial subject. Best to you all.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

One of the most defining moments of my life was hearing from my father how he almost died of a fentanyl overdose. He'd been in the hospital for about a month and a half or so. His body was torturing him. His epidermis was mostly gone. His condition was so horrible that even veteran nurses were shaken. An old, helpless man, his own body slowly breaking his mind with suffering.
Sobbing, he told me how that night he was absorbing too much fentanyl because of his lack of skin. I think it was his first night on it, because the other pain meds weren't enough. He said to me, "It was so quiet." The fentanyl had taken away all his pain. It may have been the only time during that ordeal where he wasn't under extreme pain while conscious. And he knew he was slipping away.
The nurse, unfortunately, came in and noticed his oxygen was too low. I don't know what she did to revive him but she did something. The next morning, he wept like a five year old kid infront of me about having to face another day, about not getting to just go peacefully into night where all was "so quiet". He lived another month a half of torture before he finally got to go, and he didn't go peacefully. The doctor informed me that he kept saying, "I don't want to do this". He was terrorized to the very last moment. Luckily that doctor cleared him for hospice and I, having the legal authority to make that call, had him put there. He died soon after.
There really aren't words to express how much I cherish the thought of a "good death" --- to go peacefully and quietly, through a doctor administered fentanyl overdose or otherwise. I don't think I can cherish any thought more. I suppose it's how some people think of God --- as some bright, perfect thing you wish could exist, and which you could love more than anything else you've ever known. Something which, while not justifying what happened before, still doesn't possess quite the same stain that being alive did. I don't feel much but I get misty eyed when I think about it --- to go without pain or terror, or sorrow or fear, simply drifting into the quiet.

An apt poem from Ligotti

You lie in the bed,
an arm full of tubes,
a mind full of drugs,
but still thinking.

You see the figure
enter the quiet room
and you lift your arm
and focus your mind.

You ask the doctor,
if it can be arranged,
that your last day
not be your worst day.
(Request, from Death Poems)

metamorphhh said...

"...to go without pain or terror, or sorrow or fear, simply drifting into the quiet."

And on top of all that, no sense of guilt. What a joyful thing if society could come to this place of acceptance of death. Not as good as never being born in the first place, obviously, but if we also care about the living, it's an important subject to ruminate on.

Unknown said...

I support "suicide on demand" rights for all adults, regardless of age or physical health. Perhaps with a reasonable waiting period required. What do you say, Jim?

metamorphhh said...

Unknown- Yeah, that sounds great, including the waiting period which is a pretty good compromise, I think. You know, one reason overpopulation is rarely discussed even among most environmentalists is because nobody wants to step on people's 'self-determination'. And yet, most folks are SO against even talking about suicide, even though in the case of procreation it's a rather specious argument since another life is involved, while in the suicide's case we're actually discussing personal sovereignty. Everything's backwards.

Sorry for the delay in posting your comment. I just finished moving yesterday and am still in the midst of a hurricane, lol. Hopefully things will settle down now. Take care.

Cawood Pace said...

I agree with Unknown. This is something I have felt strongly about for a few years now. None of us asked to be born, so why should we have to continue in this life if we don’t want to be here? I feel I’m obligated to stick around and take care of my parents. I love them and want them to as comfortable as possible with the best care possible. Once they’re gone, I’m checking out. I have no other obligations tying me to this planet.

Jim, glad to see new blog posts from you. You have been missed.

metamorphhh said...

Cawood Pace- Thanks. Not sure I'll be posting much stuff directly related to AN, although, who knows? I'm getting older now, and the focus of my thoughts has shifted to subjects related to aging and impending death. New life experiences, new insights, yes?

Good luck to you and to your parents. It's all so tragic, isn't it? These days the only meditation that offers me a slice of sanity is "It's all inevitable". Just blind and dumb chemistry shaking around, tiny lego blocks connecting and disconnecting. The definition of futility. Ugh.

Anonymous said...

Señor Crawford,

My name is Raúl and I am from Paraguay. I read your words with much interest. In my view, you should not see yourself as a burden. You are a victim but also you are brave enough to realize the madness this world is. Life is a rope. Life is not a blessing as the propagandist of the so-called positive insist on bombarding us. This world is a prison or a prison farm.

Take care.