Hyperbole and a Half has clearly been there.
I'm not entirely certain why Christians, specifically Catholics, tend to be so against euthanasia. I didn't understand it while I was Catholic, and I don't understand it now.
Here, allow me to elucidate what euthanasia means to me. Saturday we celebrated my husband's birthday by going to the casino. He loves playing poker and he's good at it, we just don't generally have the $200 necessary to play at the casino. So his brother's birthday present was the $200 stake and his company at the tables. Initially, they were going to enter a tournament starting at 7pm, so we were going to go down at 5, hang out for 2 hours, then the rest of us would leave when they started the tournament. Through an unfortunate series of events, we didn't get there until 9pm, and I didn't get home until 3am. (He came home at 7am, enough up to pay for mastering his album, which is being released the second week of June. I do expect class participation in this project.)
After 6 hours spent on my feet at the casino (they don't have chairs for people not spending money), being up 5 hours past my usual bedtime and getting 4 hours of sleep after that, this was my week:
Sunday: I managed to get from the bed to the couch. I don't really remember Sunday except as a haze of pain.
Monday: The pain was worse, but I was more mobile and managed to take a shower. Mostly, I remember nausea and pain. And everything smelled funny for some reason.
Tuesday: The pain was somewhat better, but my skin felt like it was on wrong.
Wednesday: Delighted to discover my skin was back on right, not so concerned about the pain anymore.
Thursday: Back to a normal level of pain for me. Actually, I think I'm at the level of pain that had me calling the doctor for an emergency appointment, but after the preceding four days, it doesn't seem so bad anymore.
That's my life. What might be a little soreness and exhaustion for anyone else is a sojourn in hell for me. You know what keeps me going? I know that it will end. I know what the typical rebound time for me is. Well, typical rebound used to be one day of feeling not so bad, followed by two days in hell, but it's been years since I tried anything like that. But it does end, eventually. Even in the midst of pain so severe, I was left unable to really care for myself, I knew it would end. By "unable to really care for myself", I mean my husband was carrying me to the bathroom every so often because I couldn't form the proper intent to get there on my own.
If that were my everyday life with no end in sight, you'd better believe I would kill myself. Without hesitation and without apology. I love life, but that's not life to me. As much of an endurance challenge as formerly easy things can be to me anymore, there is still beauty and wonder in this universe for me, but not when I'm in that kind of pain. That kind of pain reduces the world to nothing more than screaming nerves and an overwhelmed brain that's not meant to take that kind of abuse. Imagine walking through a fog so thick you can't see your hand in front of your face. Now imagine that the fog is pain and you are pain and time is pain and the world is pain. Now imagine that is all that is left for you and then imagine what you would do.
If that sounds unreasonable to you, well, you haven't been there. I know Red Cardigan hasn't been there, because this is how she responds to quality of life concerns:
I first saw this article at a news site which allows comments, and the
comments were overwhelmingly in favor of suicide for the terminally ill, the
elderly, the handicapped, and anyone else who no longer enjoys "quality of
life," which is apparently defined by the ability to maintain a trendy home,
dash off on destination vacations, work long hours for the right sort of people,
and shop for cool toys and couture fashion at America's most
religiously-attended structures, otherwise known as shopping centers, malls,
strip malls, or misleadingly named "town squares"
(and this is off-topic, but the couple of times I've had the misfortune of
actually setting foot in that place linked to I have honestly felt like the
whole thing is frighteningly unreal in a rather evil way; but then, I'm a
writer, and thus prone to fits of imagination).
A part of me laughs. She is clearly more concerned with some [follows link] shopping center than she is with another person's screaming agony. On the one hand, most of us, including me, are more concerned with what affects us than with what affects another person we've never met. On the other hand, does she really think that people are stuffing a bag over grandma's head because she can't shop at Coach anymore?
A part of me screams with a rage that has few words. That part of me is still quaking in fear that last week will come back for me, that the all-encompassing pain will return and never leave and it will kill me before I stop breathing, and she's yapping on about shopping centers and being a writer?
Does anyone have words for that? What kind of monster are you, Red Cardigan, that you call a shopping center "unreal" and "evil" when there is suffering in this world, all around you, suffering with no release, not even a pause, suffering ended only by death? You ignore this and call it morality.
I don't even know what to say.