Choose to know WHEN or HOW you'll die

Death appears before you and gives you a terrible choice: you will know either when or how you’ll die. You can’t know both, and you must pick one.

Which do you choose?

Ugh, neither is appealing, but I chose when. If I learned I would die in my shower, I might be tempted to never bathe again. Nobody wants that.

I can’t decide whether to moon Death or flip him the bird.

I picked when. At least then, knowing the exact moment, I could have already said my goodbyes and maybe have people gathered around.

If you know when, you are invincible until then.

If I know when perhaps I can make my peace with that and act accordingly, having fun and making decisions with that date in mind.

If I know how, I might go through life in fear, always on the lookout for that “how” or worrying if today will be the day.

Nobody says you’re going to be in working order before, though.
I already know when: when I reach my expiration date.

I don’t really want to know. I picked When but I meant How. At least if I know it’s a heart attack or something I can really get serious about my health.

I mean, which I am doing anyway. Getting serious, that is. Hopefully it will just drive me further!

I really don’t care to know either piece of information.

I want to know how. Even leaving the hypothetical aside, I genuinely want to know how, and specifically, I want to know if I will die peacefully or die suffering.

I choose “when”. As has been pointed out, above, if you know when you’re going to die, you’re immortal until that moment. Also, if you know when, you can make sure that when it happens you’re sedated or otherwise distracted. It’d be nice to be able to really put one’s affairs into order.

I choose “how”. I don’t like the thought of living with a ticking time bomb strapped to my neck. It would probably disturb my sleep.

I picked “when”. If I know that, I can pick “how” myself. I’m thinking hydroplane off of Niagara Falls.

Knowing when would make it easier to budget in retirement.

I already know how. When might be nice - it’d let me know how far I need to plan ahead - but it might be horrible, too.

Just let me know when. I’ll see to the how.

There’s a book called This Is How You Die where the idea is somebody invents a machine that will tell you how you will die. The machine is always 100% correct but, like the typical oracle, sometimes its words are misunderstood.

One person is told that he will die by “suicide”. And he’s delighted. He figures that while he will someday kill himself, he’s now otherwise invulnerable. He’ll live as long as he wants to.

A week later he’s killed when a terrorist suicide bomber blows them both up. The machine hadn’t said it would be his suicide that would kill him.

I chose when, there are some pretty terrible ways to go and I don’t want that anticipation.

For certain values of invincibility. You could, for instance, spend your last 15 years in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s as your brain and body both gradually deteriorated.
Nonetheless, I’m picking ‘when.’ Based on family history, I’ve got a pretty good chance of being in full possession of all my marbles (at least, all that I’ve got now, because I know what you’re thinking!) until pretty close to the end.

“I choose ‘how’.”
“That’s not terribly helpful.”

I go with ‘when’; if it’s next week, I live differently than if it’s next year. And so on. Whereas if you tell me ‘gunshot’ – what good does that do me?