I was listening to a medium answer questions about what he had learned about the afterlife and he was asked about the topic of euthanasia. I thought for sure he would say that we have the right to choose when and how we leave. He started with the logic that we choose for our pets if they are suffering. We don’t see the need to put them through suffering when there is no hope of recover and only suffering ahead. So, why not be able to do the same for our loved ones or for ourselves?
But, then he pivoted. Human suffering is different. We learn through suffering. We grow through suffering. Suffering makes us stronger like exercise improves our physical endurance. He said that some of the greatest life lessons can be learned during those final weeks or months of life and removing the opportunity to learn those lessons could actually result in people having to come back to learn them, starting another life all over.
This gave me pause. From a legal perspective, I haven’t changed my mind. It’s not my business what another person chooses to do with his or her life, period. As long as that person is not harming or endangering another person, against their will, people should be free to do what they want. But, for myself, I would have to reconsider whether or not euthansia would ever be the right path. Before listening to that, I would have told you that I had no doubt I would choose to end my life if the circumstances showed no hope.
There are times when I feel all there is ahead of me is suffering. I don’t see the value in living years and years like this. I wake up every morning wondering why I am still here. Life is a struggle. The building years are behind me. A passage from the Alan Parsons song “Games People Play” plays on a loop in my head. “Where do we go from here, now that all of the children have grown up? And, how do we spend our time, knowing nobody gives us a damn? …. I don’t want to live here no more. I don’t want to stay here. Ain’t going to spend the rest of my life quietly fading away.” Fading away. That’s just not the way I want to ilve my life. But, I know that I’m supposed to be here, or I wouldn’t be here. And, I know that I chose this. And I know that one day it’ll be behind me and it won’t seem so bad and I’ll be glad that I stuck it out.