"Destiny rarely follows the pattern we would choose for it and the legacy of death often shapes our lives in ways we could not imagine. Death comes to everyone in their time--to some a parting, to some a release." --M. Wylie Blanchet
time will tell what the next few hours, days, weeks, and months will bring. i have always thought it very unfair to keep someone alive through artificial means, merely for the comfort of someone else. the most difficult job is to choose what the patient would want when he cannot speak for himself. it comes down to what the patient wants; not what others want for him or what others might want for themselves. but if the patient cannot speak for himself, we end up choosing, and hoping that we have chosen wisely and as the patient wished.
and at other times, i think to myself; if the patient is going to die anyway, does it really matter if we carry out what may seem to be a futile treatment? maybe it will make someone else feel better; even if it does not help the patient; because the other person feels then as though they have tried.
if it were me, i would not want others to be put in the position to have to choose for me. i would write it out; spell it out for them so that there would be no doubt. but have i done that? the answer, quite simply, is no. because i think we all have some difficulty facing our own mortality, especially if we are seemingly healthy.
my mom died of a long-term illness. my father is in the midst of one. 10 years ago, my boss and mentor died in an unforeseeable accident in the mountains. all of them i wish i could have back, in the healthy way that i felt i knew them best.
"I never had held death in contempt, though in the course of my explorations I have oftentimes felt that to meet one's death on a noble mountain, or in the heart of a glacier, would be blessed as compared to death from disease, or some shabby lowland accident. But the best death, quick and crystal-pure, set so glaringly open before us, is hard enough to face, even though we feel gratefully sure that we have already had enough happiness for a dozen lifetimes." --John Muir