Monday, July 12, 2010

Post Twenty-Seven: Cupcakes, The Bearded Lady with Skin Tags and Euthanasia.

Monday greets me with open arms, open bowels and open, absent eyes...

I had a three day weekend, so forgive me if I sound less than enthusiastic about my career choice today. You see, three days out of the mortuary, sans offensive odours, and my sense of smell returns to semi-normality. Thus, when I'm drop-kicked back in there I have a really hard time. A lot of gagging was done. I need to retrain my senses to think that other peoples decomposition is not a threat to MY personal safety.

Anyway, I wanted to write about Euthanasia, a very heavy topic indeed.

The trouble is, whenever I find myself thinking for an extended period of time about something serious, by the end of the day I feel like being really silly to lighten my mood. It must be a left-over subconscious thing I did as a kid. Even though right now I just want to play scrabble and eat my fourth cupcake for the day I do think that its a valuable topic to talk about, and one that I feel I have a loose opinion on.

Euthanasia is a topic that I have thought about for a few years now, and I recall doing a really dodgy year 12 assignment on it. I have dealt with mortuary cases that I believe were assisted suicides. Similarly, there have been a number of elderly suicide cases where the individuals involved have lost their life long companions. With their own health deteriorating it seems they have decided to take things into their own arthritus-gnarled hands and ended their lives. Medications, guns, ovens and ropes, their depression drives them to take violent measures against themselves. I feel for them, as well as their families and friends. They must have struggled through those final senior years so much. I really do feel sad about that.

What I see daily that helps shape my opinion is the condition that most of the deceased people over 95 years of age come into the mortuary looking like. There are the lucky few that have remained mobile and free spirited thanks to good genes, luck and exercise, but I must admit that it seems to be the fortunate few.

For the rest, legs and arms bent permanantly, twisted and contorted torsos that have fused into the foetal position from years of immobility. Skin as thin as baking paper (the unwaxed, home brand type), colostemy bag on top of old colostemy bags, extreme infected diaper rash, misfit dentures, armies of battling skin tags and horns growing off hands.....seriously, old people grow it.....

Then there's the cosmetic issues, and my most adored being the bearded ladies. All senior ladies need a good shave, and I believe its my solemn duty to uphold this task. I will leave no whisker unplucked, unless, of course, the woman is covered in tattoos and the beard was her identifying characteristic. I think if I make it into my advanced years I will grow a beard. Not by choice, but by lack of personal grooming. I seldom wax my eyebrows now so what good am I going to be in 60 years time?

I don't want to get old and twisted. I like being active, and being trapped in a failing body terrifies me. I know that Euthanasia is a topic that calls for great debate and opens up a lot of scary implications, but all I know is that we don't put animals through distress, so please, future children of mine, don't let me suffer. Boot me up with H at 85 after a cupcake and a piano sing along unless I'm senile and blissfully in love with my teddy bear....

Peace. x


  1. For as long as I am coherent and with an active mind, death will find me kicking and screaming, no matter what I end up looking like. But if I lose the ability to think and learn, please take me out the back and shoot me. It is not the physical degradation of old age that I fear, but the mental one.

  2. I understand ben. But if you don't know that you've lost your marbles, when you do lose your marbles, maybe there is still a quality of life to uphold...thinking and learning is in essence what I love about living now but when the memories fade and my brain slows...maybe there is a peace in that also???

  3. The long slow march to the finish line can be so cruel, not just to the people in the race but also to the family that has to watch it. I recently was with my mother in hospital and things were touch and go for three days, no one could tell me anything. It got to the stage for me where she got better or she passed on, either was better than what she was suffering. It was so hard to watch and be part of, I felt so helpless.

  4. Kev, that must be really hard for you, you must feel really helpless.... It sucks sucks sucks. I really hope things get easier for you and your family.