Friday, June 3, 2011


© 2011 Johnny Domawa
All Rights Reserved

‘Dying is not a crime’

Jacob ‘Jack’ Kevorkian

He was called many names. But death was his art. Or rather he was an agent of death. If you don’t know him, google him. You’ll know.

And reading about him will probably make you hate him. If you are a Christian or a moralist, you’d probably consider him a demon and his soul, if that entity does exist and if you believe that a benevolent God allows the eternal torment of a sentient being, would now be in Hell, bound forever in a burning cauldron of burning sulfur.

As for me, I have mixed emotions. In a way, I consider him a bit of a hypocrite for not choosing his own method in his death. But on the other hand, I also admire him for realizing that life is much too valuable even in suffering to be cut short prematurely. And I admire him for his honesty or his cowardice depending on how you see it.

But death, or rather the concept of death, is something that eventually comes up in our lives. When you reach the lowest point of your life and you wonder whether a quick escape is better than living on, you contemplate about death. 

When a loved close to you dies, you think about death… in between the bouts of grief and the questions that eventually crop up about where you are and why you were left, you think about death.

When you are lying somewhere in a ditch and the cold sensation of numbness creeps up from your extremities, you think about death.

When you visit someone in the hospital and see all the tubes snaking out of his body and the labored breathing that comes in rasps… when you see a crash cart come by and bodies wheeled in crisp sterile hospital hallways, you think about death.

And when you are the one on the hospital bed and day in and day out you stare at pink walls that seem to constrict you closer and closer every passing day, you think about death.

Tomorrow I can die, or maybe I am dead already….

Eerie, isn’t it. Scary? Particularly when you substitute ‘you’ for ‘I’.

Facing one’s mortality is scary. As much as possible, we don’t want to face the prospective of death. We put it away as far as possible from our minds and we don’t want to talk about it, much less meditate on it.

Nobody wants to blog about death but I will and you are welcome to stop reading and navigate away from this page.

By now, you probably know that Jack Kevorkian is the doctor that championed medical – assisted suicide for terminally sick patients… And if you have researched further, you would have seen or read about his controversial video about an actual patient dying with his assistance.

It is sick, no doubt about it, and I will agree that it is murder, technically second – degree murder. No one has the right to take someone else’s life even when there is explicit content. While I support the idea of a person having the right to do what he wants with his life, I will never ever support the idea of giving that right to another person. That would be murder, plain and simple.

But I do believe that one’s life is one’s own and as long as no one is hurt one has the right to do what he wants with it. Which is impossible, by the way, no one being hurt that is. Someone will always be hurt by the passing of a person. You see the conundrum here. I believe in the right of a person to his life… meaning…? But at the same time, I do not want anyone to hurt someone with that right.

For you never really know what a person is thinking about or how he feels at certain points in his life. For me, for example, I have contemplated suicide for more than one instance. And no, I am not suicidal but at one point on my life, I was this close to doing it. I went as far as writing the last things that I wanted to do before doing it and I nearly did it.

The fact that I talk about it now, means that I am over it. In retrospect, it was a crazy stupid decision that allowed me to grow stronger. It is funny now, how a trivial reason that might not have existed at all had nearly destroyed me.

But I do know about the despair that nearly forced me into the brink of that abyss. It is something so indescribably dark that life becomes nothing more than a waking nightmare and when you are cast into that kind of situation, you have nothing left but the yearning to end it.

And I don’t know if you are justified. It is stupid, yes but for one so deep in despair, nothing is logical anymore.

I do not condone suicide. Never, ever. But I do understand the desolation and misery that brings down even the strongest mind to its knees. So in a way I understand Dr. Kevorkians patients and their desire, though probably stupid, about ending their lives.

And now he is dead and the fact that he chose to die naturally speaks for his convictions.

I leave it at that.


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