There’s a lot of work in death.

Well, for the last couple of days I’ve been having a little bit of a back and forth with the local health authority trying to gain more knowledge about Medical Assistance in Dying.

The actual dying process I understand.

But it’s all the other matters surrounding my death that I definitely need to start planning for.

I need a will.

I had never really thought about that.

I was planning on giving my belongings away to those who wanted them. It’s not like I need to take money into the afterlife. But, to prevent squabbles, I was told to get a will and put everything in writing.

Really, my will would come down to who gets my ebike, who gets my motorcycle, who gets my computers.

My pension and other benefits would be handled via the instructions on my policies.

Other than that, I have nothing.

No property, no assets, zip, zilch, nada.

I guess depression and anxiety always kept me anchored in the here and now.

It’s not like I don’t have savings or other financial instruments. It’s just that I never had any desire to collect things like cards, or cars, or motorcycles, or homes, or condos.

When you have severe and deep depression you’re not really looking into the future as you’re expecting to die any day.

My affairs will be pretty simple, except for my brother there’s no next of kin or any other “family” that I have to worry about appeasing, so no “Game of Thrones” type family politics.

Needing a will is apparently even true for the disposal of my body.

It’s not enough to sign forms with medical schools and institutes expressing my desires for my body to go to medical research.

That has to go into a will as well.

One copy would go to a lawyer. One copy would go to my physician.

As I have no family or relations to rely on I need to go the extra step and arrange for the transfer of my body. As my death will be what is known as an “expected death” the coroner will not attend. Nor will my physician remove my body. Would look kinda funny with my doctor lugging my corpse down the elevator and then strapping it into the passenger seat of his car and driving it over to UBC. So that means that I have to make arrangements ahead of my death to have someone remove my body and deliver my body where it needs to go.

Thankfully the IV method is available at home.

It turns out that whether I use the oral method or the IV method, both methods require the attendance of a physician or a nurse practitioner.

The nice thing is that it was confirmed that if I want to die in my own bed in my apartment that I can do so.

And no. My landlord legally cannot prevent me from dying in my apartment.

I guess that once I pick a date and time I’ll have to notify the landlord. If I time everything correctly, there won’t be anything really to remove from my apartment. My Bed. Maybe some clothes.

No special cleaning of my apartment will be required because my body will be removed from my apartment before I even cool down to room temp.

Gotta be sure to close all of my financial accounts. Sure, I could leave everything open, but why be an asshole?

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A little fly landed into my ointment as I was writing this post.

I got a reply email from the body donation program at UBC. They’ll only accept whole body donations. They will not remove my brain and send it off to a different research lab.

So……. maybe I won’t be able to die at home in my own bed.

Shame. It’s a really nice and comfy one.

I might have to go die in Montreal if I want my brain to go to the research lab that I have in mind which would be an adventure in itself. I have been to Montreal a couple of times. Renting an apartment for a couple of months might be in the cards.

Now, if I do have to end up going to Montreal to die that changes what I do with the rest of my body.

I’ve always been intrigued with the concept of giving my body to a “body farm”. And so far Canada only has one body farm in operation and that’s also in La belle province.

As I said, I had never really put any thought into my death. And now that I can see my death within my near future, there sure are a lot of matters to iron out.

Dying.

“If you want to die, how can you be afraid of dying?”

As I’ve said, I don’t fear death.

Once you are dead you are free of the senses, you do not feel pain, you no longer exist.

It’s the dying part that scares me. It always has.

And I don’t mean in the sense of heaven or hell or gods or the such.

What I fear is the pain or the terror that would fill my last minutes, or hours, or even days.

I actually don’t like being inside automobiles due to my father’s penchant for aggressive driving and drunk driving. I don’t relish the idea of dying in an automobile collision. There was a pile-up on the Q.E.W. in Southern Ontario back in the ’90s. A young girl got trapped inside one of the cars and slowly burned to death. That is not a death that I would wish on anyone.

Yeah, I understand that dying by my own hand would only last for so long, but I’ve never been a big fan of panic and terror.

It’s fairly obvious that I’ve never bled to death before, but the idea of slicing an artery and bleeding out doesn’t appeal to me due to the shock and panic that would set in as the volume of blood in my body decreased. The nausea that would come with the shock would be very unpleasant.

Asphyxiation would be the same thing

Asphyxiation, choking, etc…… no thank you.

You hear about the successful cases. What you never hear about are the unsuccessful cases which often lead to permanent brain damage.

Drugs? Yeah, no. There’s just something about ingesting copious amounts of drugs that doesn’t appeal to me. Maybe it’s the vomiting and the retching. Maybe it’s that you actually stand a good chance of inhaling your own vomit and dying a very prolonged and painful death.

Unless you manage to get things right your last moments on Earth will be filled with pain and misery. Sure, eventually everything will be over. But as I said I don’t want to tack on more suffering to the suffering that I’ve already endured.

And I can tell you one thing, you never want to die in a hospital hooked up to a ventilator in the ICU in a drug induced coma. That’s probably the worst way to go that I can think of.

Dying is not an easy thing to do. It’s honestly not as easy as you’d think it would be. It’s definitely not as easy nor as romantic as it’s made out to be in the movies or literature. One part of the brain wants to die while another part of the brain wants to survive.

This is why I am really intrigued with Medical Assistance in Dying.

If the protocol is adhered to and if the proper doses are followed one shouldn’t be aware in the slightest that they have stopped breathing and that their heart has stopped beating. There’s no choking. There’s no gaging. There should be no violent convulsions or spasms. Just a complete loss of consciousness and then nothing.

Sure, the anxiety may be something to contend with in the months, and weeks, and days, and then hours leading up to one’s demise under M.A.i.D.. But I think with the proper mindset that one should be able to make it right to the end without too much of a problem.

I think that one of the things that terrifies most people about death is the lack of control of the where and when. Death typically comes randomly. It follows no schedule. It generally doesn’t take into consideration what your plans are or if your affairs are in order. You could be at work, you could be on the subway, you could be out for a bicycle ride. You death can be quick, or it can be lingering. You could slowly die on the cold pavement while gawkers stare at you. And I think this is what frightens most people about death, the general lack of control around the circumstances of one’s demise.