All Life is Precious – So, Is Death Not Precious?

A few weeks ago, I wrote that I consider all life precious. So, where does the Grim Reaper fit in? Is the “reaper of death” grim, or is it, instead, kind? I suppose that depends. In my view, a natural death can be a blessing. Just like any mechanical device we use until it wears out, our bodies are meant to reach a point where they no longer function effectively and should be discarded. Modern medical practices can keep bodies alive long past their usefulness, for years in some cases.

I dined recently with the “Grim Reaper”

We had a long conversation that evening, and I learned a lot about his point of view. When I asked his name, he smiled and said he had no name, not even “Grim Reaper”. He let me know it was sad that people worried and stressed about death. He said if they only knew what waited for them on the other side, they would welcome it when the time came.

Furthermore, he explained his duty consisted of helping souls transition from body death to the next phase of existence. As part of that, he immerses himself in their consciousness, feeling what they were going through as part of the journey. Because he was experiencing their death, as them, it could be agonizing, horrifying, peaceful, or joyful. As we continued to converse, I realized that this being was compassionate and empathetic beyond what any human could be or even conceive of. No human could do that job for a day; he did it for eternity without complaint. There is so much more I could tell about our conversation, but to do justice, it would take a long article of its own. Please ask any questions in the comment section.

Should We Have the Right to Die on Our Own Terms?

Should individuals have the right to decide when to end their lives? In the earliest of times, the question never came up, as nature took care of that for us. With advances in medicine, we can extend life far longer, and the question has become relevant. In most communities, by law, those with terminal illnesses are denied the right to end their lives on their own terms. At times, elderly people are not allowed to die a natural death but are kept alive, perhaps against their will, by loved ones who are unwilling to lose them quite yet.

Those who are infirm or very ill can be declared incompetent by courts and not allowed to decide when they can die. But is that right? I don’t think so, at least for the terminally ill or those whose bodies are worn out. I believe there is a difference between a person ending their life due to their perceived failures and one who is facing an unavoidably painful death. Very ill people should have the right to choose the time, place, and manner of their death. Some with terminal illnesses can accept that they have completed their life, good or bad, ready or not. Many can accept that their body is no longer viable, and continuing may be preventing others, such as family caregivers, from living their full lives.

Death as an Escape from Life

The physically healthy may wish for death to avoid responsibility for their problems in life. They may have debts, whether in money, responsibility, or time. A debt owed, whether legally or morally, should be paid. Ending your life to avoid responsibilities is as immoral as any other means of escaping payment. Then again, they may be using death as an attempt to punish others they blame for their circumstances. Last but not least, there are young and old who have accumulated such emotional or physical pain in life that they see death as a final release from a tormented life.

My Personal Views

I am going to be quite blunt with my opinion. First of all, whether an able-bodied person has the right to die or not is a useless conversation. Are we going beyond death to punish those who take their life? Not our job, is it?

For those unable to die with dignity on their own terms, absolutely, they should have the right. We don’t let our pets suffer, but we are not letting grandma go in peace. It is plain selfish on our part to keep them alive when they wish to be transitioned by a kind death assistant to the other side. Sometimes we humans have no mercy for one another. (end of rant)

May all of you have a long, fruitful, fulfilling life and a death worthy of your life.

Jerry Philosophical Life Lessons

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