Thursday, March 31, 2005

Terri Will Rest In Peace, But How Will We?

"Death is not the greatest of evils; it is worse to want to die, and not be able to." Sophocles

Thank God it's over. Maybe now this poor woman and her even more tragically burdened family -because they've been sentient through it all- can achieve some peace ... and quiet ... and yes, some closure.

For the rest of us, the story will play on and on and on.

Here are my takeaways from this circus. Then I'm going to leave the tent for good.

1. Go to a lawyer, make a living will and make it explicit.

2. Add a "gag rule" addendum to your living will: any family member who fights it and takes the fight public is cut off. From you.

3. Discuss with your family every single detail, every possible scenario.

4. Write letters to your spouse, partner, parents and/or children, reiterating exactly what your wishes are; store those letters with your living will.

5. Tell your parents/spouse/partner/children NOW how much you love them and value their love for you. Then apologize for the pain they may be forced to endure. Then go over numbers 1 through 4 with them again.

Then get on with your life.

And when you pray that this never happens to you, pray too that if it does, no misguided do-gooders will ever get wind of it. Ever.

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