Goodbye and Goodluck

Cosmo: If my cat were failing in the way that I am, I would mix some sleeping medication in with top-quality ground beef, and when she fell asleep, carry her lovingly to the garden and do the rest. Who wants to die surrounded by strangers, no matter how excellent their care and competence?

Cosmo: If my cat were failing in the way that I am, I would mix some sleeping medication in with top-quality ground beef, and when she fell asleep, carry her lovingly to the garden and do the rest. Who wants to die surrounded by strangers, no matter how excellent their care and competence?

“Life seems somewhat like a party that I was dropped into. At first I was shy and awkward and didn`t know what the rules were. I was afraid of doing the wrong thing. It turned out that I was there to enjoy myself and I didn’t know how to do that. Someone kind talked to me and made me laugh. I began to understand that actually I had to make up my own rules and then live by them.

I did pick up that I needed to know when to leave, and that is now.”

Gillian Bennett of Bowen Island, BC ended her life at noon on August 18, 2014 rather than suffer the indignity of dementia. She wrote a personal blog  Goodbye and Goodluck to make public after her death.

17 thoughts on “Goodbye and Goodluck

  1. I know there’s a lot of controversy around taking one’s own life. My father experienced dementia in his final years. Speaking for myself, I’m grateful that he didn’t choose to end his own life because of it.
    Yes, he was frustrated. Yes, he was saddened that he didn’t think as clearly as in the past, and that he might be a burden. Yes, we talked openly about options.
    We got to spend extra years and time together that we otherwise wouldn’t have. True, some of that time was inconvenient or filled with unexpected events. It helped us to learn to let go of our self-judgement, our pride, our ego with its strong desire to imagine it’s in control.
    His decision to continue living has helped me to live more fully.
    I honor Gillian Bennett’s decision, and echo her recommendation that any persons of age 50 make a living will with their wishes known.
    Vincent

    • Vincent, Thank you for sharing your story. This is a great lesson to live as we die. I too went through with having to care for a dying friend but not dementia. She wanted to go to Switzerland to end her life but I refused to go with her. In the end, she died peacefully at the Hospice due to complication. Yes, I agree with you that having to face death and dying, we the living learned to live fuly alive.

      Living will for me, DNR (do not resuscitate.
      Perpetua.

  2. Crossing the line is always a difficult decision. Each case has its own circumstances. Life is precious even if we could not call it a life anymore. Death will come to us all but do we choose how we die? I think not. Fate will decide.

  3. What an amazing and evocative post Gillian wrote Perpetua, thank you so much for sharing it. I was 100% in sync with her decision until I read viewpaxific’s comment above and now feel less certain. A good friend’s husband passed away recently after a long and very difficult battle with dementia. It was so hard on his wife but I think she would have wanted him to hang on as long as possible. Such a sad and difficult personal choice. You are fortunate that your spirituality offers you strength.

    • The family would like to open the Euthanasia debate. I am merely sharing their wishes. It’s is a difficult situation. My aunt is afflicted by this disease. So far, she is still living with it as well as the family. There is no easy answer, Tina. Thank you for reading Gillian’s post.

  4. Life is precious. We learned that we don’t get to make all the decisions in life that affect us.
    The one decision that is inalienable is whether I get to live where I get to die. No one gets to make that decision for me. If we truly valued life as much as we rhetorically say that we do, there would be no homeless people, there would be no people walking the street

  5. I think living a life that isn’t yours anymore gives the person the right to end it. Dementia is a horrible disease and if the post doesn’t want to live through it they have every right. I respect her choice.

  6. I am grateful to have had the chance to read all of Gillian’s thoughts on this difficult choice. I whole heartedly agree with her decision, and if I should face the same fate, I think I would make the same choice.

Please share your reflection. Thank you.

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