Can Someone Acutally "Will" Themself to Death?

I am sure both my parents did just that. Health declined to the point to go to the nursing home and they both stopped eating within a day or so. Took about 15 days for my mother to go and 12 for my father. My mother went 1st and 18 months later my father.

My father was vocal about it. To us kids, and the counselors at the home he essentially said “I am content with my life as it occurred, I have no regrets, I see the kids will carry on the family, my time has come and let it be”

Upon the Death of Sir Albert Morton’s Wife

He first deceased; she for a little tried
To live without him, liked it not, and died.

  • Sir Henry Wotton (1568-1639)

Wow. Did they ever do a toxicology report? The only reason I ask is that I notice he was a pharmacist, as well as a diabetic. An overdose of insulin is not out of the realm of possibility. And I’m sure there are plenty of other things a pharmacist could use to hasten his death, particularly with diabetes and a bad heart.

I’ve certainly got my share of “…and after his/her last family member visited and said goodbye, s/he died,” stories, as well as spouses who didn’t last more than a few weeks after they’d been widowed, even if they were previously healthy.

But I bet that for every story like that, I could come up with another of a miserable person telling me how they just wish they could die and stop this suffering, or a widow/er who lives sad and lonely for years.

I think there’s a lot of comforting confirmation bias to the idea that we can a) hold on until we get to say goodbye and b) stop the pain of age/illness/lonliness and die when we’re ready to.

How about this one –
http://www.nytimes.com/1986/01/07/us/boy-foresees-dying-girl-given-his-heart-as-his-final-wish.html

I’m even more amazed that a random match was a successful type.

(Well, fairly successful. Her body finally rejected it 3 years later and she died, but still, 3 years is nothing to sneeze at.)

Nicely subverted.

It was the same with my grandparents. My grandfather was sick for years, but grandmother was quite healthy. But after he died, she fell seriously ill. But she lived for an year with all sorts of illness including hear diseases. we used to say they always willed to die together.