I always find it interesting that the euthanasia debate pops up in the media quite regularly, but that we don’t ever seem to get anywhere with passing a law about it. Perhaps the day will come when that changes, but until then, it means that individuals and their families (and often the medical staff) are left in a legal limbo, where euthanasia or assisted suicide happens everyday, but behind closed doors, and without a broader conversation.
On the weekend, a friend got some news about his mother. She has been sick with a chronic condition for a while now, but in recent weeks, her health has gone downhill. She’s had to accept some intervention which indicate that ultimately, the end is coming, sooner rather than later. It’s sobering.
Even though she has been sick for a while, and we’ve all known that the disease is terminal, it’s still confronting. I pondered on it a lot last night, and talked it over with the Handsome Sidekick. For most of us, I suppose (although I certainly don’t have the figures) we don’t have a long time to contemplate our imminent deaths, especially if that death comes earlier than expected. I’m sure we’d all like to imagine we’ll live a long and healthy life and that the end of it, have a comfortable, and hopefully quick, death.
So as you probably know, both David Bowie and Alan Rickman died last week, and the news hit me harder than I expected. Perhaps it’s because in both cases, the news came to everyone, except those very close to them, as a shock. Perhaps it’s because several friends’ parents or parents-in-law have died recently. All I know is that after I’d put our Offpsring to bed, on the evening after I’d heard about Bowie’s death, I was clearing up the plates and setting the dishwasher going, and I found myself holding back tears. And then I realised why.
My elders are dying, and I’m not ready.
Recently, changes to our migration act here in Australia meant that any non-Australian citizen who served a prison sentence for more than 12 months would be at risk of deportation at the end of their prison sentence. No doubt this was an attempt to rid our otherwise unsullied paradise of unsavoury foreign types who go around committing crimes and generally bringing down the tone of the place.