Wednesday, February 03, 2010

a tough subject, death

One which Sir Terry Pratchett discusses very frankly and with great thought and gentle humour in the following videos...dying with dignity, choosing your manner of leaving life. He is suffering from a very rare form of Alzheimer's, one which strips him of his ability to process visual information properly. Can you imagine being a very intelligent, very prolific, very clever writer who knows he is losing his ability to type, to follow words on paper, to even recognize his notebook in front of him?

On February 1st, 2010, he delivered the annual Richard Dimbleby lecture, giving a very personal, very straightforward speech about his illness, his feelings on terminal diseases and dying, and his own desire to die peacefully on his own terms. As he puts it,

As I have said, I would like to die peacefully with Thomas Tallis on my iPod before the disease takes me over and I hope that will not be for quite some time to come, because if I knew that I could die at any time I wanted, then suddenly every day would be as ­precious as a million pounds. If I knew that I could die, I would live. My life, my death, my choice.
Those of you who know me know that dying with dignity is a cause very close to my heart, one I feel very strongly these videos were very hard for me to watch, but very, very worthwhile.

Here is the link to the article that pointed me to the videos, with good backstory to the speech:

And a direct link to the slightly edited transcript of the speech:

The videos themselves:

There is a lot I can say here, a lot I am feeling, a lot I am dealing with and will be dealing with for a very long time...until I find the words to express some of it, I will borrow his.

Thank you, Sir Terry...I only wish that Dad could have heard this.

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