That’s My Time, Folks
I read this brilliant and sad article by Atul Gawande and it got me thinking about Paul Newman dying at home and how I’d probably like to do the same when it’s my time. It’s such a strange decision to make. What level of life is acceptable and at what point do you stop fighting and just focus on making the days more tolerable instead of more numerous?
I’ve come up with my own criterion: If I can still tell a joke, keep me alive. If the doctors say there is one more surgery that could help my chances, but I’ll be too confused to make people laugh, for my sake refuse that surgery. It won’t be worth it. I don’t want to be a burden. I don’t want to be confused and afraid. All I’ve ever wanted to do is make people smile. When I can’t fulfill that purpose any more, then it’s not worth protecting my days.
If I can’t put together enough thoughts or bring myself to enough action to make someone laugh, that’s it. Give me the light and I’ll be happy to vacate the stage. Bury me at a crossroads and plant a tree on my grave.