We are all afraid of death. It's the only fear there is.

When I boil it down, everything I've ever been afraid of in my life has been a fear I would die.

When I watched Oliver Twist in the cinema as a child, and that huge scary cook looked down at him and roared, "MORE?", I was terrified.

Why? Because I thought the cook was going to kill me. Not Oliver. Me.


When I panicked away the hours every day, during the early years of my journalism career, of what was I afraid?

Ultimately, that I wouldn't do well enough, and that someone higher up would be upset, and I would be rejected, and I would lose my job, and therefore my place in society, which would mean I was just a waste of oxygen, and that someone would find this out and deprive me of my right to take up said oxygen, and I would die.

Unless we have a clear view of this monster called death, and our very rational fear of it, we will not be able to rationally debate it.

"What's to debate?" you ask.

Well apparently, there is a thing called a right to die. And to die with dignity, no less.

Death is undignified. It is the shutting down of the body and it either happens in the blink of an eye or gradually over a period of time.

A corpse is not a dignified human being. It is a human that has stopped being.

So that's why I think these 'right to die' people have got the wrong end of the stick.


What they are seeking is not the right to die; we inherit that from the moment we are conceived.

No, what the advocates are seeking is the right to kill themselves, or to allow a medical professional to kill them.

Lecretia Seales wanted to die after having a nice meal and have her family and her cat around her, but she would only make that decision after holding on became unbearable.

How unbearable can life be if you are still capable of enjoying a meal?

What I believe is required is an honest facing, by all of us, of the reality that we will one day die, and an admitting that this scares us.

Changing the 'how' of death will not remove this fear.


By all accounts Ms Seales was a courageous woman, and that's all I think any of us can hope for.

Not to die with dignity, which is impossible, death being what it is, but to live with dignity until death takes us.