My neighbor approached me yesterday about a neighbor who is in his eighties. He wants to die she said. he leaves his door open, he is not eating, his friend is doing everything for him, but he wants to die. He’s not doing well, he can’t walk without falling down. I don’t know what to do? I don’t know his family or who to call? I thought of you because you seem to know about situations like this.
I told her I would make a few calls. Perhaps there is an city or county agency that would make a welfare check. I told her I would call later in the afternoon.
My neighbor came up to my apartment, she was dejected and I could smell alcohol on her breath. She said, called the management of the apartment complex, she said they were angry that she called. The called the city and various agency. He was in the Korean war so being a vet, she called the Veterans Administration and they told her, let him die! (I’m not convinced they said that ) I saw the tears in her eyes, I wanted to hug her, but didnt for some reason. I told her I am lucky to have a caring neighbor like her in the complex.
As I closed the door to my apartment, I thought to myself. Do we have the right to prevent a person who wants to die, to die?
I knew two people who committed suicide. I clearly remember wondering if I could have made a difference, prevented them from killing himself. Next response was anger and resentment, how cruel and selfish they were. People loved them, friends family and in one case children, they should have talked to someone! Told someone! sought help. Their choice of suicide will cause a great deal of pain and we will live with this stain of this selfish act !
I cherish life, I love it and think I am blessed every single day, but that is me!
I have no idea of the pain these individuals have, their suffering. How unbearable it might be for them, day to day, even living in my world.
Maybe its us who are cruel and selfish ones. We insist they live a life of misery and despair for us. We insist they hang in there with the endless needles and evasive procedures for us.
We ignore them and get angry hen they say their tired. We insist they trust god, when they simply want to go home.
Some of us demand that our love ones live a life of pain. We pray, we want them to want to live. For Us.
My neighbor was in his early eighties, he lived longer than both of his sons. Last year was an horrendous year for him. His beloved small white dog was snatched out of his arms and killed by another dog in front of him. He is a fixture in the apartment complex.
With his rapidly deteriorating health, I’m not sure I would want to live. My options would be very few and I wouldn’t want to be a burden on my friends and children.
“What if I want to die? Am I obligated to live for friends and family?