Neither of which are actually too jolly. I just finished watching “Choosing to Die,” Sir Terry Pratchett‘s short film on his search for the answers to the questions “When?” and “How?” He interviews several people in the course of the film, two of whom have chosen assisted death in Switzerland, and one who has chosen a hospice. It seems to me that the two men who do go through with the process of assisted dying — one actually on camera — end up being more memorable than the man who chose hospice care, and I think there’s a reason for that. I have the sense that Sir Terry has already made up his mind that to end in a hospice is not what he wants. Fair enough, I say, but in that case I really believe he should never have included the interview. You can feel his opposition to what he’s hearing and seeing, and I don’t believe that serves him well if he’s trying to prove that he’s being open-minded about the options.
All things considered, it’s a hard film to watch, not so much because of the deaths, but because of the people who are involved; the families, the doctors, the assistants, and Sir Terry’s own writing assistant who is clearly not sanguine about the suicide option. Oddly, thinking about the two men who do go through with their suicides in the course of the film, and there’s almost a blank where there should be some sort of emotion, as if by virtue of the fact that they have made an absolute decision, they have already ceased to exist. Or perhaps it’s just that having been the one left behind a number of times now, I have far more feeling for those who, like me, had to say good-bye.
On the money front — yes I’m tired of talking about death; you can only do so much of it before it rolls over you like one of those cartoon boulders — things are still tight, so I opted to join a group which purports to show how to earn money writing copy. It’s well spoken of, so I didn’t have any hesitation in paying the money upfront. But so far there aren’t that many jobs that I felt right applying for because I don’t have a lot of experience in the areas where the prospective employers want experience. Or they’re full-time jobs. Or they’re not remote jobs; and I can’t hop around from city to city doing part-time or freelance work. Still, it’s worth a look. Fiction isn’t paying all that well right now. I’ve decided that after the first of the year I’m going to be sending some work to an agent to see if there isn’t some option beyond trying to sell books with my terrible promotion skills.
Tomorrow I’m taking about $270 worth of DVDs to the UPS store to ship off to Amazon.com. They do trade-ins on a lot of merchandise, and it’ll let me pay for Xmas without taking any money out of the bank. I’ve also got an appointment to see a gal in my Alderman’s office (I have a great Alderman with a lot of political clout.) who is going to help me with my property tax issues.
As Glinda says, “Every little bit helps.” I need to remember that.
- Dying woman resurrects assisted-suicide debate (ctv.ca)
- Death With Dignity: Ultimately, It’s About Who Controls Death (prweb.com)
- Choosing to Die: Sir Terry Pratchett Comes to Terms with His Death (brainpickings.org)
- Guest Blogger Kathy Cerminara: Coverage of Hospice Care as an Essential Health Benefit (lawprofessors.typepad.com)