This story is a couple of days old, but it made mem kinda happy. Of course, there is no cause for celebration in the fact that these two people were facing dibilitating illnesses, but as someone who has lost both parents, in vastly different ways, I found some joy that these two people were able to leave this world on their own terms.
I remember the flap over Kevorkian, but I never understood it. What we did to that man was shameful. He didn’t stalk parking lots looking for victims, he came when he was contacted by those desperate enough to want to die. He was a victim of our collective fear of death, and politicians that lacked the least bit of courage.
There isn’t much info out there on this Swiss Company, other than a Wikipedia page. It seems to have had a rocky, contentious start, but has since upgraded its methods and facility.
It is easy to find fault in this type of service. But is what Dignitas does more exploitative than those telemarketing firms that wish to sell you a final resting place?
The way we handle death in this country seems a little dated, at least. With the exception of multi-media presentations, funerals look the same today as when I was a kid. Drive to a church, (whether or not the deceased ever set foot in one) listen to a preacher attempt to find an applicable bible verse to accompany his notes on the guest of honor,followed by one or more tearful speakers, followed by yet another car trip, this time in formation, to a prepared burial site. Maybe this approach has withstood the test of time, but I still find all so….lacking.
Maybe there should be pyrotechnics. Confetti. Bon Voyage banners? Personally, I don’t think we Americans have really let our creativity flourish in this area. Maybe, one day, there will be brightly colored “exit portals” in every strip mall.
Anyway, it seems that the bulk of business for Dignitas comes from Germany, with a handful of Brits choosing this service to help them ease on out. I’m pretty sure Americans can go to Oregon if they choose to exercise their right to die, but I’m not sure what that entails.
I’m just glad these two people, after 54 years of marriage, were able to do this together if they so chose.