I often think of life at an old age. My Grandfather is currently rotting in a nursing home, immobile, unable to feed himself or speak, suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia. His body is there but his mind left long ago. When I see him now, just a shell of the person he used to be, I can’t help but think about how he himself (if he was of sound mind) must think of the new him. No one ever says, “Can’t wait until I have no idea what the fuck is going on anymore.” I often joke with friends that I want to die at age 60. I don’t want to end up as my Grandpa is now. What is the point of that? No one wants to live like that, no matter how much we fool ourselves.
I miss the days of Jack Kevorkian. Say what you say about the man but I never really felt that he was doing anything wrong. If someone has some fatal illness and they choose to die on their own terms, who are we to say that’s wrong? We do it to dogs and cats all the time – whenever something goes wrong with them, we put them to sleep. Why can’t I put myself to sleep, should the time come?
I miss my old Grandpa. I had a dream last night that he called me on the phone.
“Grandpa, you can talk again?” I asked.
He replied, “Yes, but only for a second, so you have to listen up.”
“Okay, what’s going on?”
“I need you to do me a favor. You have to come, put me out. I don’t want to be like this anymore.”
“What do you mean Grandpa?”
“You know what I’m talking about. So hurry up, I’ll be waiting for you. Don’t worry, I won’t fight it.”
Then I woke up. It’s weird to have a dream like this, as I’ve often had these sorts of thoughts in my head during my normal, non-sleeping, state. And there it was, in my dream. Part of me can’t help but think this is indeed what my Grandpa wants. Somewhere in his body resides his normal self, screaming to be released. And he is trapped.
Take me away from this… (6/2008)