You Have A Right To Both Live, And Die, The Way You Want

You Have A Right To Both Live, And Die, The Way You Want

Don't let your fear of death stop you from securing your right to die how you want to.

Radiance Campbell

Most Americans fear death. In our culture death is a problem, an ultimate defeat, rather than a natural part of the life cycle. As a result of this fear, we are reluctant and even fearful to even talk about death. We avoid anything that could be deemed too "morbid".

But death is a natural part of the lifecycle, and it's important to talk about it. I, for one, am the kind to have those "morbid" thoughts about life after my death. I'm aware that I could die suddenly just as easily as I could die of old age, and I want the comfort of knowing that my desires would be obeyed whether I was able to communicate them myself or whether a family member had to communicate them for me after my sudden passing. To me, being in charge of the decisions regarding my death is an issue of body autonomy and self-determination, just like consensual sex and reproductive rights. Therefore, I'm uneasy thinking about the decisions other people might make after my death "in my name" without really knowing my true wishes, and you might be, too. So, I'll go ahead and break the ice and share some of my own dying wishes:

If I'm dying, I don't want any extraordinary measures taken by the hospital staff. I don't want to be a brain-dead vegetable hooked up to life support while my organs fail one by one. Especially if I'm a match for somebody somewhere... the sooner my organs get to them, the better. Yes, of course, I want to donate my organs. I want to donate all of me actually, not just the easy stuff like my liver and kidneys. I choose to donate my hair, my skin, my eyes, even an entire hand or leg-- all of me. If it means a father gets to walk his daughter down the aisle, a wife gets to hold her husband's hand again, a little boy gets to see, or a sober addict gets another shot with another liver? I'm in.

If I die before I'm married, treat my boyfriend as if he's my husband. Don't forget him in this process. And married or unmarried, let my partner freeze my eggs if he wishes. Then he can have my child later when he's ready if he would like. That would please me greatly.

And anything that can't be donated directly to a human being? Give it to science. Research gives us the technological advances that let us live longer, healthier lives. Cadavers give future doctors invaluable learning experience, and then they go on to help people live longer healthier lives. So I want whatever parts of me that cannot be donated directly to a human being to be donated to a lab or research project that can then use my body to help some future human being.

And after all of that, if there's anything left of me, I want to be cremated. I don't want to take up unnecessary space, decaying in an expensive, fancy box in an expensive, fancy grave my family had to pay for. Let them go out to dinner or make a donation in my name with the money they save. Let them plant my ashes in a community garden somewhere and let them harvest the strawberries and tomatoes and sweet potatoes months later, thinking of me.

Let my loved ones have first take at my belongings, then donate the rest. If I'm fortunate enough to leave any money to my name, let it matter, somehow. Don't let it build a library or church in my name. Don't let it be squandered by a child or spouse that probably doesn't really need it. And don't give it to relief efforts, like hunger or vaccinations. Those may be good causes, for some people, but they aren't my causes. Instead, give any money I have to people and organizations tackling the root causes of inequality and structural violence. Give it to micro-funds for female entrepreneurs in Central America and give it to community-building initiatives in my own hometown.

I urge you, talk to your family and loved ones. Don't let your fear of death or discomfort with the topic get in the way of your right to body autonomy and self-determination, even after death.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

This Survey Shows How Quarantine And Drinking Relate, And I Can't Say I'm Surprised

"5 o'clock somewhere" is more of a guideline now than ever.

As it stands, and my friends and I are finally 21. We're extremely excited to be able to go out to bars and "get lit" as the kids say, but due to the pandemic, all of our plans have been put on hold. We'd rather wait and go when it's safe than risk spreading the infection and hurting our loved ones. So, we've all been quarantining apart, getting on the occasional wine zoom call. This made me wonder if anyone else our age were doing the same thing.

Then, I discovered this survey: We Surveyed Millennials And Gen Z About Their Quarantine Drinking Habits — Cheers. Here are 3 things that I discovered through the survey results.

Keep Reading... Show less

5 Easy Summer Mocktail Recipes You Can Make With Items You Probably Already Have On-Hand

Keep these drinks in mind next time you're visiting your local farmer's market — you might want to grab some extra mint and limes.

With Summer 2020 in full swing comes the addition of many fresh fruits and vegetables to brighten up your dinner plate, but also your glass! Farmers markets are my personal favorite place to look for produce that is in season to make fun mocktails with.

Keep Reading... Show less

5 Ways To Celebrate The 4th of July — Without Fireworks Or Social Gatherings

We created a list of things to do since social distancing may create a dent in our typical, planned traditions.

With the Fourth of July on Saturday, the usual tradition of popping fireworks, grilling out, and being surrounded by family has been modified due to the pandemic. Whether you're a loner or surrounded by family, there will most likely be some changes to your celebrations.

For weeks on social media, people across the country have been complaining that they have been subjected to fireworks going off at all times of the night into the early morning. This has sparked concern and questions about why this is happening and how are people even obtaining the fireworks.

Keep Reading... Show less

Carb And Cheese Lovers, Unite — These Are The Best Mac And Cheese Recipes On The Internet

Whether you need to get through the current pandemic or want to spice up your Fourth of July celebrations, these mac and cheese recipes will do just that.

My favorite food is mac and cheese, and it always has been. All it requires is noodles and cheese — it's so simple to make. Although it's my favorite, it can also get kind of mundane because it's such a simple recipe. This, of course, has led to many people all over the world experimenting with the American staple.

With our lives currently being turned upside down due to the pandemic, a lot of people are seeking comfort. These are scary times, and in order to make it day-to-day, we need to have our favorite foods as a standby. These recipes can also be used during your celebration of the Fourth of July.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

17 Things To Make You Feel GOOD This Week

Because some purchases are just necessary.

Y'all, we're struggling. You don't even have to tell me, I know. What a mess we're all in, right? This year is not going how we planned and the world has turned into one giant struggle bus. I guess you could be super philosophical about everything happening for a reason, but sometimes life is just hard.

There are plenty of ways to bring yourself out of whatever rut you're in. You could go for a run, have a snack, or read a book. Or, if you're really looking for an adrenaline rush, go shopping. This is obviously not going to solve the world's problems with one swift click of the "checkout" button, but hey, it may just give you the little boost you need today.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Wore A Butt Mask Every Day For A Month, And It's Officially Essential In My Daily Self-Love Routine Now

Thirty days later, my booty's as smooth as a baby's.

- Blissfully unaware that butt-care beyond squats was even something I should be considering in my self-care routine, I tried one of Bawdy Beauty's butt masks for the first time a month ago.

- I've never really given my butt a second though till I took a look at improvements that could be made with the mask — if one of the hydrating, firming, detoxifying, or brightening masks in the kit I received could either smooth out cellulite or tone my skin a bit more, I wasn't going to complain.

- Each Bawdy Beauty sheet mask comes in an individually-packaged sheet, soaked with a serum I massaged into my skin after removing said sheet. The clay butt mask comes in a convenient stick format I simply draw on to my skin and leave to set for about 10 minutes before hopping into the shower.

- I set a goal of committing myself to butt-care every day for one month. Between the regular use of sheet masks, clay masks, and their CBD Butt Balm in between, I didn't have many expectations.

- I thought the whole concept may just be a gimmick, but my butt has never looked so toned in my life, and the cellulite I had is almost completely gone. I wear one every single day when I get the chance.

I'm incredibly skeptical when it comes to marketing ploys and gimmicks in the beauty world. I'll be the first cynic to try out the latest serum on the market every influencer is raving about just to negate every grandiose claim it makes.

Keep Reading... Show less

Friends, you don't have to be quarantined to use a personal massager, you know? Because, sure, quarantine made for a lot of extra quality time with yourself, but no matter what phase of the reopening process you're in, it's normal and actually healthy to take care of your sexual needs on your own.

Keep Reading... Show less

5 Books I Didn't Realize Are About Gay Women

If you read primarily LGBTQ fiction, then this list might help to expand your TBR list.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Frequent readers of LGBTQ fiction might feel like they're reading the same book over and over again, with few exceptions.

Most of these books were on my TBR list for months and I didn't realize they were about gay women until I was reading them, hopefully, this list of books can interest you in expanding your reading material and seeking out different stories.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments