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I Want To Go

Responding to my post on dying, a friend wrote to me about the fact that her Mother really wants to die. She seems reasonably t and healthy, but somehow she is just tired of living.

Again, not easy. What do you say when someone says “I’m done, I want out of here!”, and yet they are not terminally ill? I think it at least deserves an open and honest conversation. Whilst most people would run for the anti-depressants, I think it is perfectly normal for many older people to feel that they have done their bit and that they are ready to depart. Not because they are necessarily depressed, it just is what it is. To try and cajole them out of their state of mind will most probably be met with a cynical retort. We somehow find it very difficult to think that many people are tired of this thing called living. Even more so when they actually put words to deeds and try to end their life. Suddenly we wake up…

Life is hard, and not everyone is good at it. For some people, physical challenges really make their lives a misery. For others, being alone, feeling like a burden, and not having anything to look forward to becomes more and more dif cult. My dear friend Lynn, at 97, use to say “That is the price you pay for overstaying your welcome”. I have no idea what it must feel like to have come to the end of your life. What I do know, is that if I get there one day, I would want to be able to talk about it. Not to scare people or make them feel sorry for me, but for them to know that I am setting my intention. That I want to prepare myself, that I will get my things in order. And

I would like to be respected for that – don’t try and lure me out of my state of being with fancy tricks. Just, again, be with me. I also recently had a phone call from a friend whose Mother of 93 tried to hang herself from the burglar bars in her kitchen. This story made me immensely sad – I know her Mother well, a beautiful dignified, intelligent woman.

We can only be there, listen, be present and take our guidance from the person telling us their story. They are after all the experts of their own lives.

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