Why do I do this to myself?

I'm working on my Human Rights essay. I picked physician assisted suicide / euthanasia because I'm passionate about it.

I must have known that this would come up. How could it not come up?

'… must consider the categories of people for which
euthanasia has been proposed… 2) cases where
people have lapsed into a stage of contented
dementia, perhaps as result of an accident
or the later stages of the 'long goodbye'
of Alzheimer's disease.'

This essay is going to be hard to write. My grandmother has Alzheimer's.

Every time I think about this, it's like…

When you lose somebody, it's extremely painful. But life goes on and you begin to accept it. You get closure.

Having a loved one with Alzheimer's is like being trapped in that week after a loved one's death. You know the one you loved is gone, but you can't accept it, you can't get over it, and there is no closure.

When a loved one dies, you can move on because your loved one is gone and it's over. With Alzheimer's, your loved one is gone, but it's not over.

In a case like that, how do you find closure?

How do you come to terms with it?

How do you find peace?

This is why I am passionate about euthanasia. I can't stand to use the word 'suicide'.

My grandmother was a great woman. She devoted her life to helping and caring for others. She was deeply involved with the Girl Guides of Canada. She attended church every Sunday. She volunteered regularly at a non-profit organization in the town she lived in. Everyone who met her liked her. She always had a kind word; a warm hug.

My grandmother is now confined to a wheelchair. She is almost completely unresponsive. She is forced to wear diapers. She's heavily medicated. She is no longer living; she is merely existing. All the things she valued – her family, her friends – none of it means anything to her anymore.

The Alzheimer's has rotted away everything I loved about her. Every bit of the person she was – it's all gone.

There is no closure.

That is why euthanasia should be legal.

There are so many other people out there, just like me, suffering just like I am. People with Alzheimer's and other terminal illnesses – they're not the only ones who suffer. The people who love them – their family and friends – we suffer just as much. We have to watch our loved ones go through these indignities. We have to watch them become shells of who they used to be. We have to sit back and watch the pain and suffering and do nothing.

Euthanasia is not cruel. It's not killing. Euthanasia is letting us say goodbye. Euthanasia is closure. It's an end to the indignity and pain and suffering.

I'm thinking about getting a tattoo. 

Tattoos scare me – I'm afraid of any type of commitment, and getting a tattoo is permanent. So it's a big deal to me.

I want to get forget me not's tattooed onto my back with my grandmother's initials worked in.

I just don't know when to get it done.

Most memorial tattoos are done after the person dies.. not before.  

I told myself I'd get it done at the end of April if I still wanted it by then.

I don't think I'll change my mind about it. This isn't some meaningless design I picked randomly. It has a lot of meaning to me. Forget me nots are the symbol of the Alzheimer's society, as well as my favourite flower. They remind me of her, and they remind me to remember the woman I loved, not the disease she suffered.

I don't see how I could regret getting something like that tattooed onto my body. 

1 Comment
  1. LaLuna 14 years ago

    I think the tattoo idea is a good one but one not to be taken lightly. I have 5 tats now and they all have meaning. But I didn't start getting them until I was 36 years old!!

    Good luck with your paper. You picked a challenging topic.

    Namaste~~

    Luna

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