I listened to a podcast episode called The Ending Matters on my afternoon walk today. The title of the podcast caught my eye (Terrible, Thanks for Asking) and its latest episode was trending on Spotify. I gave it a listen. A hard listen.
At a few points during my walk I felt short of breath. Not because of the hills I was walking but because death is a difficult subject.
Ten minutes into the episode and my walk I decided to approach listening to the podcast as practice for accepting death and understanding that it’s part of life. I practiced not being afraid of it. I practiced seeing the beauty in it.
You can cry that it’s over, or smile that it happened – Dr. Seuss
I lost my breath, regained my confidence. Lost my breath, regained my confidence. This repeated throughout the podcast episode and my walk. I thought about switching to something less “deathly” but decided to stick with it.
I need to practice overcoming this fear, I thought. And on the final repetition of losing my breath and regaining it, I achieved confidence in knowing that dying is okay. Dying is part of life. It can be painful, but it’s not bad.
In the episode, the host, Nora, and her guest, Brittany Maynard‘s husband Dan Diaz, talk about their experience being alongside a spouse while they struggle with terminal brain cancer and eventually die.
- Death is a part of life
- Suffering doesn’t make us strong and dying doesn’t mean we failed
- Assisted death is offered in several states and consists of taking a potent sleeping pill (Pentobarbital I think) after going through a rigorous process of getting approved to end life on your terms. (Brittany Maynard did this.)