It would be no exaggeration if I said that I was deeply moved after listening to Randy Pausch’s lecture. While it has forced me to examine many of the things that I am involved in, one constant thought has been that it has brought to intense focus the kind of death that I would prefer.
Unlike many people, I have never felt the urge to live a long life. Even as I write this, I am ready to meet my Maker, if he is willing to meet me now. But, if ever I am given a choice to decide the moment of meeting, I would like to meet him when I am just in the midst of doing something that I truly love. And that’s when I am usually in deep conversation — either teaching a class of young students, or talking to friends on an issue I am deeply concerned about, or in an active counseling / coaching session trying to help people build their perspectives and lives.
Surprisingly, I arrived at these choice of moments many years ago, and even though I have often considered whether other moments would make sense, no other moment appealed to me. After listening to Prof Randy Pausch’s lecture, these feelings about choices got not just reinforced, but intensified. I only hope that the good God would grant me this wish.
And should I ever be faced with a terminal illness, I would always exercise the choice to forego treatment and get admitted in a hospice centre if I can’t have the luxury of an active physical body or a sound mind. If I do have the luxury, I would want to continue leading a very active life, doing the things that matter, which is to spend time doing the things that I truly love as listed above. The last thing that I want to do under those circumstances is to be a burden to the health care system, or to the family.
I also find it very amusing that people plan their lives and all yearn for certainty in their lives. However when it comes to death, (which is the only certainty), people rarely think about it. In fact, they avoid thinking about it other than trying to provide for their family members.
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