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I believe that this is a thought provoking topic regardless of who the person chooses. No one wants to die...but I if had to die, it might be nice to have a little preparation time. I certainly would want the decision with whom to spend my last hours.
I am on the opposite end of the spectrum. Both of my parents have passed away. So I am the matriarch in the family. I have only one daughter and one granddaughter. All the men in our family are gone.
There is some comfort in dying surrounded by a daughter. When my mother passed away, my daughter and I sat each on one side of the bed holding my mother's hands. She was an only child and my father had passed away a few years before. I felt that was one of the greatest privleges of my life. To be with my mother as she went to the arms of God was also one of the saddest moments in my life. However, it was a "love-in" in the best terms.
My daughter is the happy memories of my past, the joyful moments of my present, and the hope and promise of the future.
She is the love of my life.I would like to have my daughter beside me when I die. When I have to go, I want her to be sitting with me telling me about her day, her students, her thoughts...this will complete my life.
I completely agree with Pohnpei. I would never want to know if tonight was my last night. It would give me too much anxiety and I would be overwhelmed with trying to "soak up the moment" that I wouldn't be able to enjoy anything.
This question reminds me of the play "Our Town" by Thornton Wilder. It it, a woman dies and asks to be taken back to an ordinary day in her life so she can live it again. She knows she will have to go back, but she wants to experience one day over again. She becomes overwhelmed and frustrated because she sees her mother and others in her life taking the little things for granted. She wants to take in every moment because she knows it's her last on Earth, but it becomes "too much" and she is overwhelmed by it all.
I imagine I would feel the same if I knew it was my last day. Yes, I would want to be surrounded by my husband, mom, dad, sister, brother, friends and other family. But I imagine my heart would be breaking the whole time. All I would be able to think about is the fact that it would be a night full of lasts. Last dinner. Last sunset. Last hug from my mom. Last laugh with my sister. It would be too much to handle. I hope that is something I never have to experience.
I concur with the need for solitude as one takes account of one's life and what is to come would be necessary. Of course, we all want to bid our farewells to loved ones, human and animal--our comforting friends, above all. But, the passage from life is like birth, a lonely and solitary one. With the heart a better recorder than any camera, etc. there must be time for it to review those cherished and monumental moments in one's life.
There is a good chance that I would want to spend that last night alone. There is quite a bit of spiritual house-cleaning that I would want to do before "the end" and having some solitary time would be helpful.
Also, I imagine that my loved ones would be glad to spend that time with me, but I would not want to make anyone watch as I faded away. This hypothetical situation is difficult to truly, viscerally imagine though, so I am not sure what I would actually do in this situation. I would like to think I'd have the strength to quietly contemplate what my life had been and its meaning.
I would spend the last night with my family. Not just my wife and kids, but my extended family also--the folks I don't see or talk to very often. It would be important to me to talk to them and listen to them one more time.
I think this is pretty much going to be a case where everyone has the same sort of answers. I mean, if you knew it was your last night on Earth, who would you spend it with but your loved ones? I can't imagine wanting to spend that last night with anyone but the people who meant the most to me and that would obviously (I hope) be my family.
On the whole, though, I would really rather not know when my last night is. I would hate to go through that where you could just feel the clock ticking away...
Funny how this provokes the soul to admit who that person would be. I too would choose my mother to ask her all the things I never thought to ask. How did she raise eight children to be good human beings? How did she get through all the crises with the three youngest children? How could I have learned to accept what I couldn't change and yet allow so few to fit that category? How do I make sure that all the medical information is communicated to my children? How do I ever make her understand how much her love sustained me through all the medical trials the kids went through--that without her, I might have lost it all? Her listening without interrupting when I was desperate for medical answers and her ability to laugh at the strange happenings which helped me laugh too? And then, when I look at what I have written, how much I would give for it to be my two children whom I have come to appreciate so much as adults who know I love them beyond reason. The night would have to be conversation and maybe music which have been so much a part of our lives--even dancing to the music. Maybe even watching the 4 movies we can all recite--Monty Python and the Holy Grail, The Blues Brothers, The Princess Bride and A Christmas Story. They have served us well when crises struck, and maybe they would again as we recited and laughed. Group hugs and laughter in the face of another crisis--that is what we would do in my scenario.
My first thought, honestly, was my mother because she is my best friend and she likes to spend time with me. My second thought was my daughter who generally finds me annoying at her age except on the rare occasion (or if she needs something...so typical, I guess.) However, I know that if we knew it was my last night on earth, I know she would want us to be together, and my mother would sacrifice that time for me to be with my daughter. I would imagine that it would be terribly difficult for both my mom or my daughter. I know I would want to share as much as I know with her, tell her continually how much I love her, and stay awake hugging her: but realistically, I wonder if we would be crying too much to do any talking at all. I hope I don't ever have to find out.
i agree with e martin. i would spend it alone
lol not really.. it sounds a little corny..
I would spend time with my boyfriend and spend the day like it was my last because it would be. Probably go on a canoe ride, a walk through the park, make homemade cookies and hot chocolate, cuddling on the couch watching a movie. And say my last "I love you." This is so depressing :(
I would spend my last night with, well there isn't really a contest. I would spend time with my whole family sitting down and having a traditional italian dinner.
I would spend the night asking GOD to forgive me for all of my flaws, and I'll donate all what I have for those who have nothing.
If i knew it was the last day on the earth, i would probably call all my friends, and my relatives, the people who are precious to me and my family together and have a fun time recollecting all those wonderful memories. The people would have positive response as they would also know about the last day.
Dear booboosmoosh, mizzwillie, pohnpei and mwalter822, thank you v much for your candid and well thought out responses! Not the run of the mill sort of ones but sincere thoughts, well imagining what one would want on one's last night on earth-- really and truly.
Thank you, too for liking this question, for those of you who've appreciated it-- and I hope that there will be more people who will also think and respond to this query, and be part of this discussion.
In fact, this question came to me as a result of a very similar thought to most of the above--my family, how precious/valuable they are to me and what if...? etc
I have no doubt that if i had the option I would certainly spend my last night with my family and dear, loved ones.
Err... I hope that we can please keep this dicussion clean thanks!
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