Quick, please, thank you.
When I was an ICU nurse, I saw, and was party to, a number of slow deaths, a number not particularly painful. No matter, they sucked anyway. And it wasn’t being in the hospital, or heroic measures, that made it suck. It was being there, but not being there, losing one’s independence, one’s functional abilities. I have my plans already to off myself if I get within site of that.
What freaks me out the most is those situations, such as some accidents, where people feel fine, are fine, but know they are going to die soon. The Titanic - standing on the deck, scanning the horizon, hoping, wishing, to see a ship, knowing one is not going to arrive in time, and knowing in twenty or thirty minutes you’re going into that cold, cold water, and it’s going to kill you. And looking at your wife, or husband, or child, and knowing that they are going to die too, You’re healthy as a horse, but you’re going to die, so are they, and you’re both scared, and there is no “it’ll be alright”, or “we’ll make it ok together” to allay those fears, and not a damn thing you or anyone else can do about it. Same thing with a situation like TWA-800. Big explosion, front of plane falls off, most of fuselage keeps flying for a bit, and you sit there thinking “whoa, this isn’t good. I don’t think we can make a good over-water approach without a front to this thing. In a few minutes, I’m dead.” Then the plane noses over, and just starts falling. Maybe you’re flying alone, and there is no one to hold on to, and you just look at the book you’re reading, knowing you’ll never know how it ends, and through your fear it makes you just so damn sad. Even capital punishment. Guard comes to the cell, says “it’s time, Jake”, and you think, or you say, “ok, just one more minute”, but they can’t play that game, and firmly indicate so. You feel fine, but you know in a matter of minutes you’ll be dead, and every single thing you try to etch into your consciousness, for it is the last thing you’ll see, hear, taste, read, think…as if it will make some difference once you are gone to have really paid attention those last few minutes.
Whew, that was long. I guess you can see I get a bit freaked if I think on this too much.
As others have said, “dead” doesn’t bother me - I won’t be around to miss anything. “Dying” is what worries me.
Thanks for the catharsis.
I’m going to bed now.