Life and Death

This is one of the unlikely topics here. I wouldn't know where to fit it if I didn't resonate so much with it. A few weeks ago, I asked my wife if she knew what to do if I die. Her response made me worry. Like I guessed, her optimistic nature probably had her never thought I would leave her one day, at least, in the premature manner that I wanted to prepare her for. After all, I am the higher risk one between us. There is no telling if cancer will return and take me down one day. I'm carrying a time bomb without a timer. On any other day I may be crushed to death at work. At least that sounds like a fast death. If it is to be a painfully slow one that leaves me too weak to live, too strong to die, will she support me if I want to go in dignity?

I wish she would spend some time to think over what she should do if I die unexpectedly. It would be painful to go, knowing she would be distraught, completely lost and didn't know what to do next. Perhaps one day I should write a guide for her, a private post. Just for her eyes. 

Encik G
12 Aug 2015

The Last Cab to Darwin which is showing in (Australian) cinemas at the moment tells of a man who has been given 3 months to live and embarks on an epic drive through the Australian outback from Broken Hill to Darwin to die. Core to the theme of the movie is the idea of euthanasia, the right to die.

I support euthanasia, perhaps I see too much death but do spare me the religious argument unless you see death on a weekly basis. There is no dignity in dying when one has cancer that has spread throughout the body and all I can do is help manage or relief any pain you may have. After all admitting terminally ill patients into palliative care and hospice before their death is a form of "slow death" anyway.

As another lady puts it, watching her husband Bob die of prostate cancer was a distressing experience.

"The worst thing about looking after somebody who is very ill and in pain is that you can't do anything about it. I would have taken some of his pain for him if I could have, but I was even afraid to hug him. Tests had shown his bones were ready to crumble because the cancer had moved into his bones, so hearty hugs were not in the picture anymore."

In 1996, Bob Dent became the first person to die using the Northern Territory's Rights of the Terminally Ill Act.

Ive been an organ donor since I was 22 and if anything is still useful on my death bed, feel free to grab it. If I lived till 80-90yr and had a stoke which rendered me parapeglic and have to survive with a tube through my nose sustaining me with liquid food, I want to be able to go on my own terms. But rather than grief death, why dun we celebrate its life, and I say this after hearing some great and funny stories at funerals of the life lived.

So what of the life lived? I've travelled (most of) the world, met some amazing people along the way. Completed a marathon, triathlon and climbed the French Alps and Pyrenees on a bicycle. Taking part in 24hr bike races in close to sub zero degree temperatures in Canberra. And love to relive some of the good old army day stories. Being in a close knit community, I have also become friends with some of my patients including some of the kids with type 1 diabetes. I will be the 'fun' uncle that never seems to work to my nieces and nephew ( they ask my sis when I seemingly get home before 5 each day)

Perhaps the PAP should also consider euthanasia as a policy option as central to their argument of a 6.9million population target is the need to service the older population.

As the movie description go.. “..before you can end your life, you have to live it..”, and being human, its normal to crave the familiar as routines can be comforting but to live life you have to sometimes venture out of your comfort zone. The only problem is I doubt the Government will release your CPF even if you show them the date you are dying on.


  1. Then don't die prematurely. WT asked me the same question you asked Jen before too. My reply was, "I won't know what to do. So you cannot die before me." Sometimes, it's not the disease that kills but the loss of hope leading to suppressed immunity. So always have hope & faith that things will work out eventually. & laugh. Lots of it. :)