Becky Says...

April 2005

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Not Funny - April 11

There was e-mail today from a friend that was a long-winded joke about healthcare powers of attorney, with respect to the court actions regarding Terri Schiavo. And I didn't think it was funny, except for the one part about having a drink and waiting six months to decide what to do next. (Sorry, out of context that line probably isn't amusing.)

My first reaction was to hit "reply," and I wrote a couple of sentences about the Schiavo situation, then thought better of it and deleted what I had written. I eventually was able to remark on the amusing line, thus only gaining half-old-fogey status for myself.

Fogey perhaps, but I don't think healthcare powers of attorney are funny. I think they are very powerful documents. I think anyone who is over age eighteen in the United States should have one. I wish my mother had had one. I wish Terri Schiavo had had one. I hope everyone who currently does not have one will take steps to rectify that.

And on a related subject, I do not usually find anything about death decisions amusing. I think those decisions are sacred, whether you're making the decision on your own behalf or if you're the person making the decision on behalf of someone else. I think the time between making that decision and the death is a sacred time. I think it's also a time of pure, unadulterated, agonizing hell. Even if you're sure beyond any doubt that you've done the right thing.

The friend who sent the joke this afternoon was not part of my life during the weeks my mother was dying, so I give her a pass for not knowing I wouldn't think the joke was funny. But please understand that part of why I'm posting this is to tell anyone in the world that I don't usually think jokes even remotely about death are funny.

In short, due to what I've been through in my life, if you want to joke about death I'm probably not going to be your best audience.

Text © copyright 2000-2005 Becky