The number of visits to this blog has suddenly dropped from the usual 150+ to fewer than 60 per day. Who knows why — the blog business is unpredictable. My hunch is that the topic of the last few posts (death) does not lend itself to spontaneous clicking. “Use ‘sex’ in the subject line,” another blogger suggested.
As I think about my own dying (and, by extension, yours), my wish is to post things that may serve the needs of many readers. By telling my stories I invite you to reflect on yours: your experiences with death, with dying, with terminal illness and accidents, with moments when death visited you and your loved ones. I hope that you’ll talk about what you read here and what my posts trigger in you. Please expand the conversation beyond friends and loved-ones — speak to your doctor and priest and others in your social circle. Browse the library and scan the world-wide web. Write things down so that loved-ones know of your end-of-life care wishes.
Who shall make decisions when you’re no longer able to speak for yourself? Seeing you ill and helpless is agonizing enough for them, not being clear on how to advocate for you brings additional suffering to those at your bedside. Beyond the end of life (your death), what are your wishes regarding your body, its immediate care, subsequent donation of organs, burial, interment or casting of ashes? Who would you like to look after the many decisions, small and large, after you’re gone?
In the coming days I’ll address these points while I too talk with friends, my lawyer, executor, brothers, medical representative, and spiritual teacher. Please come along — let’s talk to each other about the most natural (and guaranteed-to-happen) event in our lifetime.
image: detail from Pluto and Proserpina, white marble, 255 cm, by GianLorenzo Bernini (1598-1680), Italian sculptor, architect, and painter. This illustration is more than gratuitously erotic as it pertains to sex and death. In Greek mythology, Pluto, God of Dead Riches, charges out of the volcano Etna with four black horses, abducts and marries Proserpina, then takes her to Hades, the Greco-Roman Underworld.