I am currently reading ‘Being Mortal’ by Atul Gawande which is a book about ageing and mortality.
As humans age, we become more dependent on others for our daily activities such as showering, going to the toilet and even buying of food. This is because our body starts to fail, our bladders become weaker, our balance no longer as good as before and sometimes even our eyesight begins to falter. Thus, as we start to lose the ability to become independent, we are faced with the tough question of how do we ensure that the elderly continues to live well and safe.
In his book, Gawande shares the different ways the elderly are living the end of their lives as they slowly lose the ability to be independent. Some were sent to nursing homes while other decided to live independently till the end. However, some had a hard stance against being sent to nursing homes until they realised that they could no longer live on their own.
So, this got me thinking, how would I want to spend the end of my life?
I guess, my life’s purpose then would be to live happily and be close to God. Definitely, I would want to live independently with my wife (whoever she may be) till the end. I would want to live peacefully in a small cottage somewhere away from the cities of the world. I would also want to take frequent walks, strengthen my relationships with people and read a lot. Though, there may be a time in my life where my organs will begin to fail, I would still want to live independently as much as possible (maybe hire a maid if it comes to it?) but I want people to respect my decision especially to my future children. I would not want some stranger telling me the way to live my life nor schedule my life for me. I would instead want to be as free as possible. Isn’t that how it should be for all?
I think, for now, that is how I want my end to be, quiet and peaceful, surrounded by my loved ones and recalling the stories of the past.
Now that I think about it, death is like a slow regression of life where it will end in a puff of smoke when we have reached a point of weakness that we can never recover from. Maybe this quote is true after all:
Old age is a continuous series of losses.