I've lately been entertaining a thought... It's a rather weighty thought... Something I wouldn't likely share with anyone. But I'll share it here.
I'll be fifty-five years old this year. Not too old, but getting up there. My own father died at fifty-five; though he didn't take very good care of himself most of his life. He smoked and he drank and he didn't really start eating very well until just before the end. I suspect these factors contributed to his heart attack.
I live better than my father did. I walk and I swim and I've never smoked and I drink very little. And best of all I eat well and have done so for about a decade. Still... What if.
What if I get sick...really sick...deadly sick. This will be a problem, as my family depends on me at the primary breadwinner. There's not much room to fail at this point, given my poor planning and lack of readiness for disaster. I keep telling myself I'm going to put some catastrophic insurance in place, though I still haven't done this. Come on, Kurt. It's time to "get 'er done!" But what if it's time to go and I don't want my family to struggle? What can I do?
There's always Japan...that safe sanctuary of Japan. But not for me - for my family. It'll be too late for me if I'm very sick. Going to Japan will only transfer the problem to that place. I'd want to send my family there and then end things here on my own terms. But how to do that? How to orchestrate things so my family can carry on without me without saddling them with the horror of euthanasia? Even if this euthanasia is self-inflicted and wanted.
Don't get me wrong... I'm not suicidal and I definitely do not want to die. I love life and I adore being alive! These thoughts ONLY pertain to a circumstance in which I'm going to die, and soon, by some disease or other ailment from which there is no chance of escape. I'd want to hasten the process then to avoid the difficulty, cost and pain of a protracted, lingering dying. I know there's something beautiful about hanging on until the end and perhaps some very special moments to be had with our loved ones while going through this process. But like I said...I can't afford this. And I don't want to saddle my family with such debt and hardship. But - and this is the first time I've thought this - would I be saddling them with a still greater hardship if I were to end my own life before my natural time? Hmmmm... That's an interesting question - and a possible out from this challenge.
So, what do I have in mind?? How would I perform this act if I were to try and pull it off. I'm not sure yet just how I could do it. But my goals would be as follows:
Put my affairs in order such that my family will be cared for after I'm gone
Get my wife and daughter back to Japan (the dog, too)
Screw up the courage for a one-way hike into the deep desert
That's it. That's all I'd need to do.
There's something settling about writing this down. Remember, these are not suicidal thoughts. I'm not suicidal. These are simply the thoughts of a man who has reached the same age when his own father died and who is worried about any hardship which my own untimely end might cause my family.
The real solution is to make things right though life and catastrophic illness insurance. And this what I will do. Beginning today.
However, it's good to have this other plan - Plan B - available now if necessary. Though even then I probably wouldn't do it, as I think it would hurt my family too much to see me go that way.