the best way to die.


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Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Aug 18, 2014 - 10:21am PT
There is often discussion of how terrible suicide is upon the remaining, but having been down this road with many people, I would venture that there are other perspectives.

For a person facing a terminal situation, they face the prospect of a gradual deterioration, with the gradual loss of functioning, and increasing dependence upon family/friends, who they may eventually not even recognize.
They face great indignity and humiliation (in their minds), and the prospect that their families will carry with them as their permanent memory, a diminished relic of a person, rather than the robust, happy, interactive person that they still are. There is a choice.

For the families/friends of such a person who goes the whole nine yards, the stories are often of the heartbreak of seeing/caring for the person as they become unrecognizable and incomprehensible. The result is often that the persons' estate is drained empty, with nothing left for survivors.

I have a friend right now going through this, with ALS. His decline is shocking to those who know him. He now can no longer speak understandably, just guttural grunts. It is heart-wrenching to hear such a wonderfully expressive person reduced to this.

As they lose control of their muscles, ALS patients progress to where they cannot use their breathing muscles any more. The choice is to go onto a breathing machine, for which they will be dependent for the few months remaining. A high percentage choose not to do so, and prolong the process.

Sportbikeville & Yucca brevifolia
Aug 18, 2014 - 11:14am PT
I want to die while typing a witty comeback on supe

dark places
Aug 18, 2014 - 11:43am PT
^ Ha, good one!

Thanks for that perspective Ken, that is of course very true. A community member where I am here in Oregon recently chose that route under Oregon's assisted suicide program... was lucid til the very end. A courageous and even noble path, as far as I can tell.

And for the more esoterically minded, remember that on a certain level, every incarnation is always a suicide mission and we know that going in. That's one way of viewing it anyway...

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Aug 18, 2014 - 02:49pm PT

Does it really matter? We're all going to get there someday. . .
goatboy smellz

Aug 18, 2014 - 02:55pm PT

East Bay, CA
Aug 18, 2014 - 03:45pm PT
Booger covered this.


Social climber
Seattle, WA
Aug 18, 2014 - 04:59pm PT
"It's a good day to die" (Klingon / bushido idea historically attributed to Sioux Chief, Crazy Horse).

Michael McCaskey said that there was Big Death, and little death. Big Death was the death of the body. Little death occurs when people's mental models of reality die. McCaskey said that both deaths had essentially the same impacts. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross's stages of death apply equally to the process of the death of the body or the death of one's own ideas.

"Being here now" means living and dying without regret.

Applying Crazy Horse's adage to one's own beliefs would be a sign of courage.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Aug 23, 2014 - 12:17pm PT
Does it really matter? We're all going to get there someday. . .

Steve, that is a reasonable question.

I would assume that you've not been involved in a lot of deaths. I don't mean that as a put-down, I just think that is normal for most people.

Having been through hundreds, I will tell you that yes, it really matters.

I have seen people go quickly and quietly into the night.

I have also seen people go very slowly, losing all control of their bodies, and most unfortunately, NOT their minds, so they are totally aware of their infirmities, their indignities, who feel little but pain, but have lost the ability to scream. The seventh circle of Dante's Hell. The currently popular malady, ALS, is a good example of this.

They see the estates that they've worked their whole lives to pass onto their children get eaten up, along with their children's assets, and their grandchildren's assets.

Screaming, Screaming, Screaming-----but with no ability to say "make it stop"

climber's near nevada...
Aug 23, 2014 - 01:30pm PT
remember what it was like before you were born ? i bet death is a lot like that ;-)

(my friend bala said that, I won't take credit for it...)

don't fear death. fear DYING. animals get mercy killing, people get stuck on machines long after the soul has left the body...

East Bay, CA
Aug 23, 2014 - 02:03pm PT
No machines if you have an advanced directive or do not resuscitate order. Those are legally binding documents where people get to determine (somewhat) how they leave this world.

Too many people have no idea they can stipulate the care they would receive in the chance they can't speak for themselves. Don't leave this to chance if you don't want to be put onto machines. Get an advanced directive!! And, it's not just for the elderly.

Cling to what is good!
Aug 23, 2014 - 03:36pm PT
With faith in Jesus! :)

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Aug 23, 2014 - 09:09pm PT
100 years old with my skis on, sitting frozen on the side of a mountain with a sign in my hand saying.. have a nice day.

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Aug 23, 2014 - 10:10pm PT
Completely aware, surrounded by the people that I love
paul roehl

Boulder climber
Aug 23, 2014 - 11:30pm PT
There's no good way to die. Life ends in a bloody mess for everyone, and yet it (death) remains "that distinguished thing." In that end, and our unfortunate knowledge/awareness of it, lies our greatest motivation. Get Busy, the clock is ticking!

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Sep 1, 2014 - 09:41pm PT

Social climber
Elk Grove, CA
Sep 1, 2014 - 11:12pm PT
Breaking News!!!
Methuselah Thriveman, first man to live forever when asked about his freakish longevity reported, "Life goes on."


Sep 1, 2014 - 11:22pm PT
I'll probably go out the way I came in...screaming and covered in blood.

Sep 2, 2014 - 09:00am PT
I want to die like Grandpa - peacefully asleep.

Not like the other four screaming people in the car.

STFU n00b!!!
Sep 2, 2014 - 09:07am PT


that's a good cartoon...


Trad climber
Sep 2, 2014 - 10:56am PT
All of my friends come to see me last night
I was laying in my bed and dying
Annie Beauneu from Saint Angel
Say "the weather down here so fine"
Just then the wind came squalling through the door
But who can the weather command
Just want to have a little peace to die
And a friend or two I love at hand
Fever roll up to a hundred and five
Roll on up, gonna roll back down
One more day I find myself alive
Tomorrow maybe go beneath the ground
See here how everything
Lead up to this day
And it's just like any other day
That's ever been
Sun going up and then
The sun going down
Shine through my window
And my friends they come around
Come around, come around
The people might know, but the people don't care
That a man can be as poor as me
Take a look at poor Peter, he's lying in pain
Now let's come run and see
Run and see
Run and see
Run, run and see, and see

Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia
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