home . blog ...

We need to talk about dignity and death

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Black and white photograph of Buddhist and Shinto memorials nestled amongst a treeline

Sometimes I wake up and think, "That's it. I've done what I wanted to do. Downhill from here. Might as well pop off with my dignity intact." The language is a fair bit darker, but you get the idea.

Then I find some reason to look forward to the day and away we go. It may take a while, but I get there. I've concluded this isn't a mental health issue or me having "suicidal thoughts." It's a rational response to aging, accepting life is getting harder, and the reasons to keep doing it fewer. It's a natural reaction that flows easily and sometimes passes quickly.

Sometimes lingers.

My philosophy - such that it is - is to accept these thoughts for what they are. There's no need to feel guilty for thinking about taking control of when life ends. Nor is it necessary to panic that I might consider it an option at this exact moment.

At some point my life will end. And I hope it's a dignified end and not a life support machine being switched off or being found in a mummified state because no one noticed.

Maybe we need a discussion in society that moves past the moral panic of "The S Word." One that lets us discuss death and how our life ends without assuming we need help or salvation. In some ancient cultures - Greco-Rome springs to mind - friends would gather for a final meal before the host would drink poison.

Frankly, it would be far less distressing for all concerned to know I shuffled off with my dignity more or less intact.

My name is Ross Hori

I'm a freelance writer, designer and photographer. By day I create articles, features and reports. At night I take photos and write fiction.

My socials...

click for LinkedInclick for Tumblr