Fading away or dying with dignity?


My neighbor across the street is fighting the demon so many of us will have to fight in our lifetime. She has cancer, stage IV, and the outlook is not good, not good at all. 

Once again I am on the sideline, and I stand there helpless as I watch someone fade away.

This happens more often when you get older. People around you disappear –some without any warning, some leave us step by step.

‘In Sickness and in health, until death do us apart,’ that’s a vow many of us take when we get married. I believe the same rule applies for friends and relatives.

I am not just a fair-weather friend; I am a friend for all kinds of weather -rain or shine. I have been there in good times, had tears running down my face from laughter, and now I am there with tears of sorrow.

Sometimes I feel like running, and I can’t even say for sure what I would be running away from. My own emotions I suppose, running away from the inevitable sounds tempting. I know I want to get away from suffering, that’s for sure.

Watching people fade away is hard, it eats at one’s soul. If I have one wish in my lifetime, then it would be that the suffering would stop. I wish we would be allowed to leave this planet with dignity on our own terms.

My neighbor is a nurse, she has seen it all, and she knows what is coming. Talking to her is different; there is no need to pretend. ‘It won’t be pretty,’ she said, and I sighed -we all did.

We should be allowed to go with our head held high. The fading away part is inhumane and unnecessary.  It’s my life and my body. Shouldn’t it be my right to choose how I want to die, if I have a fatal disease?

I don’t care what god or gods people believe in, but telling me that it is GODS WILL when people suffer is actually very arrogant. What about my beliefs or nonbeliefs? They don’t count? How come?

I think we all should have a say in our life. So, go and suffer if you feel like that’s the right thing to do, but don’t force others to do the same. It’s as simple as that.

The difference between god and doctors is that god doesn’t pretend to be a doctor. Think about it?




46 thoughts on “Fading away or dying with dignity?

  1. I’m in the midst of watching my best friend watch her husband slowly die of Alzheimer’s. He’s been near death for two weeks, suffering- as my friend says-/ we won’t put our pets through this, but do nothing for our human loved ones.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your words nearly brought me to tears. Having been there for several family members as they faded away was gut wrenching. I think if we had a choice it would give us a greater level of comfort.


  3. A extremely powerful post. I believe we are immortal souls so the bidy fades away and i am reborn when i leave this body and that helps me.

    Having said tgat to see anyone suffer ill health and fade away is truely horrible and heart breaking.

    As for gods will.. i say poor god we blame hum for too much.

    I personally thing only because of my believes that we are immortal and we the soul is so closely connected to the body ..we say my body.. but one thing i am truely aware of is karma has to paid back many ways. I know this a hard one and totally unfair and its like they where nice..but we carry the karma of many births.

    It is never nice to see anyone fade away 2016 has been year full of this. I have shed so many tears this year..

    Again a very powerful post and beautiful to read and share with us all.. food for thought.. and i love how you say ypu arr friend of all weather you truely are a compassionated human being and we all should follow that a friend in all weathers love that

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amen, Bridget. I’ve seen it. I’ve lived through it with my mother. It is horrible.

    Staying by your friend and supporting her through this awful journey is extremely difficult. Kudos to you for both your courage and kindness.
    I wish for a speedy release for your friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So sad, and I agree, Bridget. In Oregon, we have the right to terminate our lives, but in my opinion, it’s still too restrictive. We all will face the end someday, as hard as that is to accept. I hope to be able to die as I lived, with dignity, my head and heart appreciative and clear about the journey of my life, a blessing for me and those I leave behind. I used to do hospice work and your willingness to accompany your friend is a sacred gift. Your kind heart is all that’s required.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There is a movie called, “How to die in Oregon,” I believe that’s the title. It was such an eyeopener. I watched it in 2010 or 2011 and I realized I was watching someone die on TV. I watched someone die with dignity.

      I wish they would give us the choice at least. I think many of us wouldn’t take the last step, but knowing that we could would make a difference. Does that make sense?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Gosh – I feel like I love you after reading this!!!
    And last month lost a friend to lung cancer – he was 48 and suffered two years – and even though I heard it was only really rough the last few months – my heart is in agreement with you. The comic you included really makes one think.

    Anyhow – sending good thoughts to your neighbor and to all have suffer from nasty cancer and other thinks like misdiagnosed chronic illnesses and other ailments that pull from life’s freshness.
    Your neighbor is blessed to have your kindness emitting her way from across the street and again – reading your tender words tugged at my heart big time.


    • I watched my sister-in-law die from lung cancer. They told her she had 5 months to live, when I was just 5 months smoke free. She was in agony for 3 months, she begged us to do something, but they lived in the wrong state. Before that it was my best friend, she died of breast cancer that had metastasized to her brain. It was so hard to watch her at the end. That’s something we all fear, yet we don’t change it.

      Forcing people to suffer at the end, is prolonging death, it’s not prolonging life. I wish we all would have a voice in that.

      Thank you for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well the guy we knew had a cancer that usually takes a person in six months – and D endured (or struggled) for almost 24 months! Not sure if that is good or bad as I was. Not around and did not know he was ill – had not seen him since the 80s actually – and then went to his funeral! Cancer sucks!
        And side note – ty bollinger has some good info about cancer and has a series called the “truth about cancer” –
        And not to get sidetracked – but that is interesting what you wrote about choices – options at vary from state to state – etc.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I so agree with you. Watching someone literally fade away is agonizing. One of my friends did rally the day before she died- it was a pleasure to see her sitting out on her deck in the sun having a conversation, after laying so sick on her bed for weeks. Then the next day she began to slowly fade and was gone by night. When someone is suffering for a prolonged period it is torture for everyone- the person and all who love them having to witness it.

    Liked by 2 people

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