15 June 2009

The Right to Die

Lately, I have been having bad dreams about the many ways to die. Every time this happens, I wake my self up, because I'm scared. This causes me sleepless nights.

K.I.A. or killed in action is a military jargon for dying in the line of duty. For many who have dedicated their lives for a cause, this means dying with honor.

If you have seen Forrest Gump, there was a scene there where Lieutenant Dan was badly injured in battle. Forrest Gump was saving Lieutenant Dan but Lt. Dan wanted to die on the spot. To quote:

Lt. Dan: Now, you listen to me. We all have a destiny. Nothing just happens, it's all part of a plan. I should have died out there with my men! But now, I'm nothing but a goddamned cripple! A legless freak. Look! Look! Look at me! Do you see that? Do you know what it's like not to be able to use your legs?

Forrest: Well... Yes, sir, I do.

Lt. Dan: Did you hear what I said? You cheated me. I had a destiny. I was supposed to die in the field! With honor! That was my destiny! And you cheated me out of it! You understand what I'm saying, Gump? This wasn't supposed to happen. Not to me. I had a destiny. I was Lieutenant Dan Tyler.

Forrest: Yo-You're still Lieutenant Dan.

This scene asks us a very important question: whether or not we have the right to die.

The right to die has in its core the concept of dying with dignity. But how can someone die with dignity? This might seem an oxymoron, but it is true, there seems to be ways to die "better."

Spartans of ancient Greece take great pride in dying in battle. Iraqi suicide bombers use their bodies in the cause of  freedom. Mothers sacrifice their lives for their unborn children. These are regarded as very honorable ways of dying.

Much less dignity is afforded by children who die out of hunger in Africa, those who are killed mistakenly with no reason at all, and those who are tortured before dying.

The trajectory of life is that one day we will all die, but when that time comes, I want to die with honor and dignity.

Let it be known that I want to end my life well.

As my favorite philosopher Gracian writes:

"If you enter the house of Fortune through the door of pleasure, you will leave through the door of sorrow, and vice versa. So be careful of the way you end things, and devote more attention to a successful exit than to a highly applauded entrance. Fortunate people often have very favorable beginnings and very tragic endings. What matters isn't being applauded when you arrive -- for that is common -- but being missed when you leave. Rare are those who are still wanted. Fortune seldom accompanies someone to the door. She is a courteous to those who are coming as she is rude to those who are going."

Anyway, as to my dreams of death, it seems that for many cultures, it is unlikely to forecast an actual event, rather, death dreams seem to  represent the ending of one phase of life so that a new one can begin.

If this were true, I am excited. I like new beginnings and surprises.


erika mayoni said...

Hmm.. So in your dreams, do you ACTUALLY die? Cause you said that you've just been seeing ways to die.

If so, in what ways did you die?

I like what you said about the enter-exit thing, helped me a little about something that's been bothering me.

rah oibas said...

yes. nakita ko na nagbigti daw ako. then next scene. nagpatihulog daw ako sa train tracks ng LRT 1. then next scene nag slash ako ng wrist. Tas marami pa. So ginigising ko talaga yung sarili ko para di magtuloy tuloy.

hmm... I didn't actually die pala.... hmm.... but i was going to eventually. I think there was a part of me that wanted to die.

may point si Gracian noh, i mean, i kahit sa music. Minsan ok lang kahit sablay sa simula basta maganda yung ending. This is better than yung maganda sa simula kesa sintunado sa huli.

erika mayoni said...

Hmm.. Weird ng dreams mo, nakakaloka ang next scene kagad. Kumbaga sa street fighter (sorry old school :p), 3-hit combo ah!

Pero parang mahirap i-apply si gracian sa pag-ibig? Dhil wala namang ending na maganda pagdating sa usapin ng breakups? Lahat yun bitter, sad and bwisit. Haha!

Anyway, everything is a matter of perspective.

rah oibas said...

"3hit combo" - hahahaha

* bea * said...

technically, everybody wants to die with honor and dignity and of course, end their life well but HOW WILL YOU DO THAT?
i think its the other way around. it's not about how you end your life well but how you LIVE your life well. as morrie said "if you know how to live your life to the fullest and you're not afraid to die then you're ready to die." :)
and its the mark you leave that brings honor and dignity.

rah oibas said...

check. tama yan.

I guess, ang gusto ko lang talaga, may kabuluhan yung pagkamatay ko, may reason or cause. Ayaw ko mamatay dahil lang nasagasaan ng trike or tamaan ng ligaw na bala. hahaha