Caring for a Mother Ravaged by Dementia — ‘I was happy when she died’

The Daily Mail, 8 July 2019

Published as  ‘Why all I felt was relief when my mother died’

It sounds a callous confession. But in this utterly candid account, novelist Deborah Moggach dares to tell the truth about caring for a parent ravaged by dementia. Deborah Moggach said she didn’t cry when her mother Charlotte Hough died. The British novelist felt she had already lost the person she’d loved three years earlier to dementia. Her beloved mother  had been a lively, witty children’s writer and illustrator . . . but by the age of 80 she was getting increasingly odd in her ways.

British novelist Deborah Moggach shown with her mother Charlotte (top right) who had been jailed in 1984, aged 60,  for the mercy killing of an old lady who had pleaded for her help in committing suicide.

When my mother died I didn’t cry. Quite honestly, I was simply relieved. The person I’d loved had long since gone, lost to dementia three years earlier.

It was the classic pattern. My mother Charlotte Hough was a lively, witty children’s writer and illustrator.

She’d always been a bit eccentric. She adored the mice that ran around in her larder. If someone gave her a compliment, she would write it down and paste it in her scrapbook.

Deborah’s mother Charlotte, PICTURED at 60,
20 years before getting dementia.

By the age of 80, however, she was getting increasingly odd.

I remember gardening with her and noticing that she was pulling out all the plants and leaving the weeds, whistling tunelessly under her breath. She was becoming obsessive too, firing off angry notes to people who’d offended her and endlessly ‘sorting out’ her paperwork, which seemed to remain exactly the same. Her personality was changing.

And then she broke her leg and went to hospital. When things are mentally slipping, one clings to small routines—walking the dog, buying the paper—and hospital destroys all that. When she left she seemed to have visibly shrunk into a confused and frightened old lady.

At that time I lived opposite her and for a while, with the help of my sister, we could cope. The confusion came and went. Sometimes she’d be fine, then she’d suddenly ask: ‘What university did my dog go to?’

We took her for tests. To my astonishment, the doctors would ask her questions, rather than us: ‘How much do you drink?’ ‘Have you ever had a stroke?’

Then they’d solemnly write down her replies, even though she was giving them the wrong answers.

Didn’t they realise? We’d have to semaphore madly over her head.

Anyway, she was finally diagnosed with vascular dementia. We agreed on two things: one that we needed help. And two, that we didn’t want to put her into a home. Her familiar surroundings were terribly important and her house had a spare bedroom for live-in help. We started searching for a carer.

At the hospital we’d met a lovely, gentle Irish woman, who had been massaging the feet of an elderly patient, and we’d taken her phone number. So we rang her and found that her patient had just died.

She agreed to be our mother’s carer with the help of two other Irish friends of hers. They’d take it in rotas, around the clock. They called themselves carers even though they had no particular qualifications or references, but we were desperate, we liked them, and we thought it would just be a temporary thing until we’d got a proper plan in place.

We never did. With dementia, I realised, one lurches from moment to moment, from one crisis to another, and there’s never a second to sort things out. It’s like having a small child.

So these three chatty, capable Irish women moved into our lives and thus began the most extraordinary two years.

For I was plunged into intimacy with three strangers, who quickly became indispensable.

As my mother became more of a stranger, they became closer than family. Old age is not for cissies. Being a carer is not for cissies, either. Most of us can’t cope with it, and employ someone else to do the dirty work. They did this, in rotation, and left me free to carry on with my life.

And what a rollercoaster of emotions this released! I adored them, they were life-savers, and we had some surprisingly larky times together. I was deeply grateful to them, while also, ridiculously, resenting their increasing intimacy with someone who was withdrawing from me into her final illness. I disapproved of the way they infantilised her, even dressed her, while recognising I had no right to criticise, no right at all.

Needless to say, I felt chronically guilty. I was her daughter, I should be doing this rather than sitting in my house opposite, trying to write a novel.

Sometimes I resented the huge amount of money they were costing—in cash—and the daily trips to my local hole in the wall.

And sometimes I felt jealous that my mother seemed fonder of them than of me, rather like a child loving its nanny more than its parents. Because they were earning her love, even as she was subtly changing and becoming, well, theirs.

In other words, I was locked into a relationship that’s becoming increasingly common as the elderly population explodes. But few people talk about it. We rely more and more on these strangers, who enter into the heart of our families and get to know our secrets.

So I decided to write a novel about it.

The novelist Deborah Moggach (pictured) in her study

The Carer is the story of an elderly professor and his middle-aged son and daughter, who are too busy having unhappy marriages and unsuitable love affairs to look after their old dad. They engage a carer called Mandy who arrives, armed with Marigold gloves and a chirpy disposition, to take their father off their hands.

To their surprise he undergoes something of a transformation. Suddenly this distinguished and rather posh old man is enjoying jaunts to Nando’s and shopping malls; he becomes addicted to scratchcards and daytime telly.

Mandy’s company has opened up a whole new world to him, which he seems to relish. His children secretly disapprove of this lifestyle change — the chap has an OBE! — but who are they to criticise? Besides, he looks happier than he’s been for years.

There’s plenty of comedy in the book, as there was in my own situation.

I remember my mother telling us, with great solemnity: ‘There were two men in my bedroom last night. One was in the wardrobe and the other was under my bed. I’ve never believed in threesomes and I’m not going to start now.’

Oh it was grim and gruelling, and there were dark times, but the carers and I entertained each other with gossip about our chequered love lives—one of them, Sinead, was having an affair with a baggage handler at Luton airport and would read out his saucy texts over my mother’s dozing body. Even Mum got the giggles.

And I learnt a lot from them about how to cope with dementia. At first I was surprised that they colluded with my mother’s pronouncements.

Sometimes she thought she was living in a hotel and started complaining about it, so they packed her a suitcase, took her around the block and arrived back home.

‘This is a much nicer hotel, isn’t it sweetheart?’ they said. She’d nod happily and settle back in.

I didn’t like them lying to her until they explained that telling the truth just adds to the distress and confusion, and I realised they were right.

Best of all, they treated her like a human being. It helped that she was in her own home, filled with photos and memories of her hugely interesting life. During her stays in hospital, she’d simply been a body in a bed. If only someone had pinned up a photo of her when she was younger, with a little biography.

Charlotte PICTURED as a young girl, enjoying life

In hospital she was only touched in a medical way—to be turned over, or given an injection. Back home, however, her carers gave her loving massages, rubbing her with scented oils. She’d never been a great one for touching—I don’t remember her ever hugging me—but she practically purred.

Her personality was changing so profoundly that, by now, I couldn’t recognise her as my mother. Her very face had changed shape. Nor, indeed, could she recognise me as her daughter.

The last months were pretty terrible. She was obstreperous, incontinent and utterly miserable. A series of strokes left her bedbound. Bouts of pneumonia nearly killed her, but she was always hauled back by the miracles of modern medicine.

I thought: this could go on for years. It was only too obvious that she wanted to die.

I’ve long been a patron of ‘Dignity in Dying’ and strongly believe in our right to have control over our own death. The irony of my mother’s situation was not lost on me. For, 20 years earlier, she herself had helped an old lady to die.

Unfortunately, someone betrayed Mum; she was charged with murder, tried at the Old Bailey and sent to prison. In fact it had become a slightly sick family joke that whenever anyone wanted to end their life, we’d chant, ‘Call for Charlotte!’

It happened like this. In her 60s my mother used to visit an old woman called Anita, who lived in sheltered housing down the road.

Anita was extremely ill and utterly friendless, and one day she told my mother she’d decided to commit suicide and could my mother sit with her while she did it?

Sobering: The Mail’s coverage of Charlotte’s court case in 1984.
She had helped an old lady to die, writes Deborah

As you can imagine, this was a big ask.

My mother hardly knew Anita, and was quite aware of the risks. But she agreed and went to Anita’s room on the intended evening. Anita had it all prepared—the pills, the ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ note, the whisky. She also had a plastic bag, which she asked my mother to put over her head if the pills didn’t work.

And they didn’t. After four hours Anita was in a coma, but still breathing. Dawn was breaking and soon the warden would be coming round to check on the residents, so my mother did indeed put a plastic bag over Anita’s head and tied it with a ribbon. Soon Anita stopped breathing, at which point my mother took off the bag, put it in her pocket, and left.

It was an incredibly courageous thing to do. The trouble was, Charlotte was chronically indiscreet.

She told me and my sister and we kept quiet, but she must have confided in someone else because a few days later she was arrested.

It was a hugely traumatic experience for her — the trial, the publicity, the six months in prison. (The plea was changed to ‘Attempted Murder’, which had a shorter sentence.)

Being a woman of 60, and rather upper class, she was mercilessly bullied when she was inside. My sister and I visited her once a fortnight and each time she seemed to have shrunk.

I thought about this a lot during those final months of my mother’s life. She was simply a husk, a shell of her former self and there seemed absolutely no point in her continuing to live.

In the end she died peacefully, her Jack Russell on her bed. Afterwards, when clearing out her things, I read her old letters.

She was a wonderfully funny, vivid writer and suddenly I could hear her voice, the old Charlotte, as if she were with me in the room. That voice even sung out through the formality of the trial transcripts.

Just then I had her back, and that’s the memory I’ll keep with me. Not the last years, but the years when Charlotte was Charlotte.

And I’ll always be grateful to those three Irish women, who cared for her in a way I never could, and who have long ago disappeared from my life. I never even knew their surnames.

The Carer, by Deborah Moggach, is published July 8 (£16.99, Tinder.)


52 thoughts to “Caring for a Mother Ravaged by Dementia — ‘I was happy when she died’”

  1. Yes this is my story also, sans the Carers. For five years I alone was the Carer and the Medic and the Joker and the Teaser and the Quizzer and the Guru and the Sargeant and the Warden, but most of all I was “the Cook.” The Cook was my name to any who asked her who I was. “And he’s a good cook!” she would say with the same girlish excitement I remembered from when she really was my Mum telling us fond stories of childhood fun with her three sisters, two brothers and dear father who spoiled the baby of the family, (Honey) and whom she loved so very much.

    Actually, I wasn’t completely alone. Three times a week my new friend Kathy came for two hours. She would bathe mom, do her hair, trim her nails, check her vitals and then their little tea party. My blessed relief and I thanked the Lord and Kathy for it.

    I too could write a book and if I did the title would be
    “The Reincarnation of Dr. Pavlov”
    because that’s what it was. Habit, habit, habit, habit, habit! Ring! Ring! Ring! Ring! Ring! An alternative title might be “The Agony and the Ecstasy, redux”

    She too had bouts of pneumonia, the third one doing its duty. As I chanted the mantras and sang the bhajans she passed on to her reward which was surely substantial for enduring the burden of faith and service to her suffering husband, four rowdy sons and all the relatives, friends and neighbors she had helped in their last days the same as I did for her. So it never really seemed like I was doing something that special, that big. Rather the common proper dharma of family.

    Her 90 year old worn out body was cremated accompanied by Tulsi Devi and I felt good.
    Happy and relieved and good.

    1. Very sad, dear Homer. Your story moves me to tears. I sometimes wonder who suffers more: the patient in slow decline or the carer of the loved one who witnesses that decline into total helplessness on a daily basis. People who have undergone this traumatic experience are stretched almost beyond endurance.

      1. Thank you Lasha. How sweet of you to say such a thing. Best wishes and prayers for you to know strength and resolve in sustaining your own endeavours and commitments.

  2. We have one of these situations in our family, but no carer to relieve the overwhelmed spouse. In situations like this, it is the caregiver who faces the real danger, which is overextending oneself to cope with the endless and unpredictable aspects of dementia. We worry sometimes that the caregiver might not live longer than the one being cared for. But this story contains important information for those in this difficult situation.

    1. JK writes “….it is the caregiver who faces the real danger, which is overextending oneself to cope with the endless and unpredictable aspects of dementia.” How wise and right you are John!

      My mother had Alzheimer’s. She died from pneumonia. All the time she was progressing into Alzheimer’s she was physically healthy. My father took care of my mother right up to the end. He wouldn’t let anyone else help except us kids.
      My sister and I lived several hundred miles from our parents and when we could to would take turns to relieve our dad from his self imposed burdened. Stubborn? No, Dad was fiercely independent like his Scotch-Irish ancestors.
      Taking care of his wife and mother of his 3 kids took years off his life. A couple of years after mom’s passing I had this creeping feeling and called one of my sisters. “Check in with dad. Have the neighbor go over.” Sure enough our wonderful neighbor who was just few years older then myself, found dad clumped over in the bedroom corner from a stroke, still alive. He was trying to call someone, the telephone was in his lap. He died within a few days. I was not happy at my mother’s death but relieved for my father’s sake and for the 3 additional years he was still with us. My sisters and I all agree that dad taking care of mom took so much out of him. I always loved by father, but my respect, admiration and love was even greater when caring for mom until her end.

      As an equal opportunity hater does not extend to family.

  3. Old people can “wander off” if not constantly watched. Often, THAT is the end of them. Just the other day, someone driving past a neighbor’s place saw the old, demented patriarch wander across his front yard to pet and play with two cute little bear cubs around his pear tree, hunting fallen fruit. The driver stopped and yelled for the old man to stay away, then watched as the mama bear came out of the woods and killed the old fellow. Had the old man been himself, he would have known better.

    1. Gilbert, there is quite a possibility that Mama bear never would have killed the old man IF the driver did not project his own fear into the situation. Demented people have no fear which animals and other creatures sense and react upon. With certainty you do not know for certain and story telling isn’t a cure.

      1. Jo –

        Where I reside, black bears are very plentiful. I understand what you’re saying, but I DO know better than to try to “pet” one (as much as I would like to!).
        I’ve made “friendly acquaintance” with a HUGE black bear on our home place, and have dared people to shoot her, BUT AS CLOSE AS I’VE BEEN, I WOULDNT DARE PRESUME TO TRY TO FEED HER OR PET HER. I’ve seen what a bear can do to hounds – especially Airedales, which get too aggressive and close. The cubs are cute and cuddly, but are strictly off-limits when mama is around! If you’ve never been around one, you probably don’t realize how immensely strong, fast, and fluid they can be.
        My big mama bear weighs somewhere over 600 lbs, and I’ve watched her run over the hill as fast as a good horse. Around 5:30 every evening, she wanders up the spring branch from the front woods, and sits down on the front lawn of the old house, when I am on the front porch, alone, reading or writing. She won’t approach the porch, though, and I don’t crowd her. We seem to communicate mutual respect. She eventually wanders off up through the barn lot, into the hills.

      2. Gilbert, I have a similar situation here where I live, though not with bears but snakes and other not so pleasant critters. As you wrote mutual respect helps a lot to silently communicate though many times with an mind in motion and not paying attention in the here and now and coming close to step on a brown snake if it did not fling itself away. I had many encounters of “respect” myself without any signs of aggression and I have seen similar behavior when “demented or troubled people” interact and even form a bond with “life threatening species” without being in danger at all.

  4. It seems the mother lost her mind a long time before, like when she killed the other woman, or assisted her suicide. It also seems the daughter is going the same way considering the views she’s expressing, like being relieved at her mother’s death and suffering herself during her mother’s long illness. It would appear that the carers were the only sane and sensible ones, for whom the old woman’s illness was no burden, and they managed to cope well and even enjoy themselves while livening up the mother and making her last days and exit from life more bearable.

    It just shows how un-Christian people have become, to think and behave like both this mother and daughter. God makes old people demented in old age for a purpose, so that as they gradually lose their mind and senses they don’t commit that greatest sin of all, suicide. It’s all natural and with a purpose. Real Christians should take caring for their elderly senile family members in their stride without letting it bother them, which this daughter didn’t do, or even for complete strangers, which these carers did do. Oh and they were Irish. So Catholic I suppose. So more Christian than the mother and daughter, if they were/are Christians at all. If you find dying hard to do, or unbearable as others around you die slowly and naturally, painfully or not, then you shouldn’t have ever been born. But I guess even God makes mistakes allowing such upon the Earth.

    This daughter seems self-centered and a coward. Sure she hated watching what was happening to her mother as it was showing her what’s coming her way.

    “My child, take care of your father when he grows old, give him no cause for worry as long as he lives. Be sympathetic even if his mind fails him; don’t look down on him just because you are strong and healthy. The Lord will not forget the kindness you show to your father, it will help you make up for your sins.” Sirach 3.12-14. Good News Holy Bible.

  5. Maybe Max Bilney died of dementia, nobody hears from Maxie anymore. Anybody remember Maxie? He was always bananas but fun bananas!

    1. @ TROJ

      Why is there almost no subject, however serious, that you cannot talk about without trivializing it? You have sent in several long comments today about dementia, all of them flippant and unpublishable, as if dementia were just one huge joke. I guess every loony bin rings with manic laughter.

  6. “Old age is not for cissies. Being a carer is not for cissies, either. Most of us can’t cope with it, and employ someone else to do the dirty work.”
    Isn’t that the cause of all evil that follows: “They did this, in rotation, and left me free to carry on with my life.” Left me free to carry on with my live????!!!!!
    The majority of humanity has turned cissies (whatever that means). “We” carry on with our lives no matter what UNTIL LIFE starts knocking down all that once was and turning into a really big heap of uselessness and then ALL will be glad when death comes to the relieve of suffering in the human condition and a projected, twisted reality that never had any meaning at all.
    Humanities Earth urgently needs a face change while incorporating LIFE back into it and withdrawing from a cold human world ruled by insanity and greed.
    What happened to empathy and compassion caring for the sick? To feed the hungry and dress the poor? Ahh, right there are “Irish women”, Governments and charity organizations who are doing all of this nerve wrecking but eye opening work while I blindly CARRY ON WITH MY SO IMPORTANT LIFE and can forget about LIFE and its deeper meanings UNTIL IT SLITHERS BACK AGAIN INTO MY BEING. Hopefully not noticing the meaning of life itself while becoming utterly demented in the process.
    To become “demented” in an insane world is a blessing. (Not) Being in need and cared for is an opportunity for others to study life itself and to demolish borders that never were. To carry on with ones live without understanding LIFE itself is a human tragedy.
    Have I cared for the sick? Have I dressed the poor? Have I fed the hungry?
    If the answer is NO I have never lived a worthy life but it most certainly left me free to carry on insanity!

  7. I don’t fault the author at all. Her circumstances and choices were her own and she and her mother were very fortunate indeed to have those Carers come into their lives. Being given an opportunity to avail herself of their service as well as their genuine care and love for her mother was a very high blessing indeed. Good karma, as it were.

    Those two lovely ladies undoubtedly became as close to Deborah as her own family members and blood relatives were. Very likely even closer than some. I felt that way about Kathy, at times sharing intimate insights and deep feelings and thoughts with her which went beyond a good working relationship and grateful appreciation. This was only natural and welcome.

    Had I the same opportunity as Deborah Moggach I’m sure I would have considered myself very fortunate to take hold of that extended hand as if I were the beneficiary of a wonderful fait accompli.

    Deborah didn’t abandon her mother, she gracefully stepped aside all the while remaining a part of her mother’s life and death even as she reconciled the circumstances of her own life.

    1. Well said, Homer, you have the right attitude. The only people who can speak about this delicate subject with any empathy and understanding are people like yourself who have had close contact with a loved one afflicted with dementia.

      I also believe passionately in euthanasia and the right to die with dignity. Helping someone else to die who is begging for help to die is mercy killing, not murder. It may be against the law, but the law needs to be changed. Every country should have its Dignitas, not just Switzerland. As it is, only the rich can afford to pay for euthanasia. The poor have to endure life in all its agonies and indignities to the end.

      I’m not saying everyone who wants to commit suicide should be encouraged to do so. Absolutely not. You don’t commit suicide just because you fail your exams or lose all your money in the stock market. You have a right to opt for euthanasia, I think, only when life becomes an unbearable burden, usually as a result of a terminal disease. What is truly horrific is that someone should be forced to jump in front of an express train when a simple injection from a kind doctor would put them out of their misery without pain.

      1. Saki,

        I think even Buddhists should be strongly opposed to suicide. Since all life is suffering what’s the problem with illness and old age? In the East, except maybe the Japanese, families generally look well after the old, and society and the young respect the elderly more than in the West. But there is a worrying trend of suicide among the younger generations in the East, even in groups of friends. They tend to favour smoking/inhaling charcoal fumes. I think some may even light charcoal on aluminium foil and inhale as if chasing the dragon in their cars or rooms.

      2. I meant to say this earlier but for some reason missed the moment. I’ll say it now.
        For what it’s worth, I believe suicide and euthanasia to be two different things. Saki, you’ve well described those two different things here, considering the impact and implications of each.

    2. I agree there’s nothing wrong with hiring of carers, especially reliable ones, as these were, and getting on with other things. My complaint is that this daughter expressed little sympathy for her mother, was jealous of the carers, annoyed by some eccentricities of old age – all negative feelings.

      We can never tell how we’ll respond to drastic situations, and feelings of depression can overcome people to the point of forgetting some basics of Christianity or just of living itself. I’ve known a few old people struck with extremely painful terminal diseases, living alone with no carers and infrequent visits by friends and family members, but like real troopers bearing it all and going to the very end as all should do or aspire to do. Of course the seriously demented or handicapped need some care. But being annoyed by the chatter of silly old senile people is pathetic. And thinking old people should just stay at home and not be seen or heard. The demented like to wander about so walk with them to make sure they don’t get lost or hurt. But people like to walk their dogs about and show them off to other pet owners while hiding their old ones. Why not take the oldies to the park for some fresh air, it’ll do them good? Seriously so many people look better after their pets than their parents or relatives and neighbours, even washing them, clothing them, petting them, while growling and shouting at the old. If they’re so busy with their lives where do they find all this time and resources for their pets? People! I wonder who’s really demented.

    3. Having met not so many who “gracefully” walked out on their loved ones in need I have met plenty of beautiful old people that had their hearts ripped out by their own children or spouses that “gracefully” walked away and/or cashed in on their belongings along the way. Even though I am only a arrogant fool I can not see any GRACE whatsoever in a heartless and upper selfish action that devastates the last bit of love in a worn out soul in transit.

  8. The human trait, empathy, at the core of this article, is decreasing in the US!

    So are religious beliefs…… as Lew Rockwell notes:

    Church attendance is simply a measure of something deeper: social cohesion.

    It’s worth noting that the religions with the highest rate of attendance according to Pew Forum have almost notoriously high levels of social cohesion: Latter-Day Saints, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Evangelical Protestants, Mormons and historically black churches top the list.

    There’s also the question of religious donations. Religious giving has declined by 50 percent since 1990, according to a 2016 article in the New York Times. This means people who previously used religious services to make ends meet now either have to go without or receive funding from the government. This, in turn, strengthens the central power of the state.

    It is our position that civil society – those elements of society which exist independently of big government and big business – are essential to a functioning and free society. What’s more, these institutions are in rapid decline in the United States, and have been for over 50 years.

    Such a breakdown is a prelude to tyranny, and has been facilitated in part (either wittingly or unwittingly) by government policies favoring deindustrialization, financialization and centralization of the economy as well as the welfare state. The historical roots of this breakdown are explored below, along with what concerned citizens can do to mitigate its impact on their loved ones.


    Nature has NO empathy. It destroys the weak to preserve the strong!

    1. Pat,
      TJ got a kick out of the listing; “… It’s worth noting that the religions with the highest rate of attendance according to Pew Forum have almost notoriously high levels of social cohesion: Latter-Day Saints, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Evangelical Protestants, Mormons and historically black churches top the list.”
      This is the first for TJ to learn that Mormons and latter-day Saints are two different religious denominations.

      The decline of civil society that includes the decline of America can be laid to the feet of:
      1.The Private Federal Reserve money system that has led to un payable debt via the people paying interest on their own money. This has and is Tom Jefferson’s admonition that if the people ever allow the banks to control their money, corporations will be enthroned and they will end homeless on the continent they fathers conquered.
      2. The Marxist civil rights acts of 1965 and on going, has and is destroying the Black communities and now the White communities.
      3. The Immigration act of 1965 and continuing, has and is destroying the social cohesion of both Black and Whites. As was mentioned in the article church life is better in small homogeneous, all White, all Black or all whatever communities. No matter what the Marxist-Zionists and their murderous mindless minions say, people want to associate with their own kind just like the birds do. Over the last 29-30 years the Jewish controlled Federal Government and their controlled media as the spreader of their manure, has and is shoving third world immigrants legal or not into every nook and cranny of middle America with the resulting crime and other no way and no how non American third world ways.
      4. The government, the money system and immigration is destroying the social cohesion of traditional America, as part of the plan to take down America. White America is the real target.
      All the results of this as mentioned in the article from are the symptoms. The causes were left for others with their heads screwed on to fill in the blanks.

      1. Yes, TJ – I chuckled as well! Lew Rockwell just shuffled the deck to toss that article quickly into the weekly mix. No mention of Hebes!! 🙂

        You know I agree with your 4 points you listed. There are dozens more!

    2. It is human greed that has destroyed empathy and the goodness of the human heart. Nature has its own laws and many are not suitable to be grasped by a human mind arranged and educated by “science”. Overgrowth of specific species in an natural environment that is untouched sorts itself out or changes flowingly to altered conditions. As man controls all but his own mind and emotions the weak will be kept alive/bred for usual profiteering. Strength is when nature will renew itself while the weak (or unnatural twisted) stay behind in their own hell that they created. Nature has/is all the empathy of life itself and carries all the keys to ALL answers man is looking for. A wise man once said: “Study nature and copy it”, unfortunately opposing man made laws of science and therefore rendering it limited as science itself it had to be discarded as much of other “pro human” technologies.

    3. Nature: Survival of the fittest – where the fittest survive the unfit until they become unfit to survive

      1. Or say….
        Survival of the fittest
        until the fittest
        is no longer fit
        to survive

  9. Legal assisted suicide is just one more manifestation of power in the hands of the people…
    All the PTB would just as soon not see that advance…
    Pro abortionists get that, but the extreme noise they make actually defeats the purpose… And it’s noted infanticide was rampant in the last days of the Roman Empire…
    Religion and the State are in cahoots on maintaining the peon, both pyramid power structures… They take you with a grain of salt…
    No stopping, no looking, no thinking about it, don’t ask questions, just do what you’re told…
    You’ll end up in heaven with a nice flag on your grave…
    More on the corporate side – there’s not much medical money in dead people…
    I knew big guy, a real war hero, who got cancer.. This was before cannabinoids… It took him a couple of years to die, by the time he did he weighed about 100 pounds… One of the women told me she didn’t recognize anything about him except his teeth… You have to wonder what it might be like toward the end, what kind of suffering goes on with a person, who can’t even move to raise a gun to his own head, in case he wanted to…
    No doubt about it though, as soon as assisted suicide becomes legal some people start scheming on how they can pull the plug on you… The elderly become the fetus..

    1. To die a “natural death” has long been a forgotten experience in a world society where Pharma squeezes the last shekel out of any patient having fully numbed the path and the inner physical/spiritual life experience to the moment that death gives birth to new life. I personally would not like to miss any of that no matter how good or bad it gets.

    2. Those assisted suicide firms should go and operate in Japan where hara kiri was an acceptable exit or India or wherever but they don’t have any place in Christian countries and should be driven out. Better even to hook the dying elderly on heroin, but just don’t overdose them as some evil doctors have done.

  10. I have been looking into this organization called ‘Exit International’ which wants to empower individuals to end their life if that’s what they want to do. It seems they are coming from a good place, they say Dignitas in Switzerland for example is extremely bureaucratic a death becomes a huge medical and legal issue. This group encourage what might be called a DIY approach and contrast the fact that suicide was in Roman or Greek times not considered shameful or disgraceful. The Stoics respected it and of course we have Socrates with his hemlock. That changed very much with Christianity where the fear of the consequences in the after life became paramount. It’s a very tricky issue of course but I think it is fair to say a lot of people do not die ‘well’ nowadays. This group is interesting and have a different approach but I am not a ‘member’ or anything just felt people might find them interesting or helpful

    1. @ Patrick Griffin

      In Praise of Euthanasia. LD shares my views.

      Thank you for your excellent comment. I know exactly what to do to commit suicide painlessly, but I have no reason to kill myself right now, so I don’t. Should the need ever arise, however, I would choose to end my life by the self-administration of a certain drug which can be bought on the internet and in certain foreign countries. I won’t mention the name of the drug, except to say it was freely available as a prescription drug in the U.K, Europe, and almost certainly in America, in the 1960s-1970s. Then it was suddenly banned when the authorities realized that too many people were overdosing on this very effective sleeping pill. I took it myself every night for about 6 months in 1967, just 1-2 pills before bedtime, and I would get a good night’s sleep. I was studying for important exams. That’s why I took it. I needed to get to sleep so that I could get up very early in the morning (4am) and start studying, now fuelled by strong coffee and an amphetamine to sharpen the brain. As soon as I’d passed my exams, I stopped all the drugs at once. No problem. None were addictive.

      The harmless opiate (or sleeping pill) I took needs to be taken in much larger quantities if you’re committing suicide. I was told 60 pills would do the trick, washed down with alcohol. You’d just fall asleep and never wake up. The internet says you need more than 60 of these pills for them to work effectively: 100-200. I just don’t know the correct dosage. It depends on your age, sex, and how much you weigh. If you’re young and slim, you need fewer of these pills to kill you.

      The one snag is this: if you buy the pills on the internet, you can never be sure it’s not a scam. You could be buying bogus drugs. Rubbish. It’ll work only if you are taking the right pills. It’s always best if you can have a friend to sit beside you as you slip into oblivion. The friend is there for practical reasons: to tie a plastic bag round your head to cut off the oxygen supply if you’re in danger of reviving. This will do the trick if you’re about to resurface and wake up.

      I’ll give you a clue: the name of the suicide drug begins with the letter ‘N’.

      1. If you have time, watch this 4-minute video. It comes from the futuristic movie “Soylent Green”. This movie features a heavily populated dystopian world in which euthanasia is freely available to anyone over the age of 70. You don’t even have to have a terminal disease. You can be in good health but simply wish to die because you’re fed up of life and don’t see any point in getting up to face another dreary day.

        In this video, the character “Sol” joins the queue at the Euthanasia Clinic. You just walk into the clinic, as if into a supermarket or drug store, and ask to die. Friendly attendants then lead you away and give you the nicest death anyone could desire — no questions asked, free of charge!

        VIDEO : 4.34 mins

        Yes, I know the movie has a macabre twist. But’s that’s irrelevant to the euthanasia issue. Anyone who insists that someone else is under obligation to suffer pain and torment, on the grounds that eurhanasia is wrong, is a narrow-minded monster. The only people who profit mightily from the crimialization of euthanasia are Big Pharma, the medical profession, and organized religion. Their sources of income would be severely damaged if death were made easier for millions. They have an ulterior motive for the prolongation of life when life is no longer worth living.

      2. In case you’re wondering, both LD and I are devout Christians. Our views on euthanasia are shared by millions of other Christians who find euthanasia not only compatible with Christianity but intrinsic to it. I would gladly help my nearest and dearest to die out of sheer mercy and love. It cannot be right to deny to our loved ones the precious gift we give to our cats and dogs.

      3. Sister –

        I once read an article on here about “Sky burial”. For those who are considerate, suicide is best done outside (preferably in a non-populated area) where “sky burial” happens, and the wildlife benefits. (Also, a 12 gauge shotgun, or high-powered rifle or pistol kills quickly, too – and painlessly, if you hold’em right.)
        Where I reside, in Virginia, it is, still legal to bury the dead on the family farm, wherever you want, without embalming – if you do it within 24 hrs. so the carcass doesn’t “ripen” and start stinkin’. That is why “wakes” are done – to be sure the person is dead before burial.

        1. Thanks, Gilbert. I’d hate to have to shoot myself. A frightening way to die, though of course instantaneous if you use the right gun and aim at the right spot. This is the way Hemingway died. A brave death, I’d call it. But where do you aim? The forehead? The temple? Into the mouth?

      4. A lot of folks keep a piece of “coffin furniture” somewhere in the house for quick burials, too. Making a pine or poplar box (lighter for the pall bearers) is a chore if you’re in a hurry!

      5. Sister-

        I apologize for belaboring such a morbid subject, but since you asked, I have to honestly tell you that suicide-by-shotgun DOES frighten me, too. I’ve seen the immediate results of such – by shotgun, rifle, and hi-powered pistol or revolver, and it ain’t pretty. Most times, the subject simply placed the barrel into the roof of his mouth. However, I had a pretty high school teacher who lay down on her couch, placed a pillow over her head (I suppose to catch the splatter), and she then placed a .38 Special revolver against the pillow, at her temple, and pulled the trigger. She was such a NICE woman, too!

        The bad part about that one, for me, is because I was the person who sold her the .38 for “home defense”, the night before. I was clerking part-time evenings at a gun store, and she came in and asked me to show her a simple home-defense handgun.

        Later, I felt bad about it. She was a pretty woman who had been jilted by her boyfriend. 🙁

      6. Sister Monica, also from a movie is this depiction of someone reaping what he’s sown. Not really death at all, rather a transition.
        (he only wishes he was dead)

  11. To me, this says it best about caring:

    “Love seeketh not itself to please
    Nor for itself has any care
    But for another gives its ease
    And builds a Heaven
    in Hell’s despair”
    William Blake – Songs of Experience, ‘The Clod and the Pebble’

  12. H P –

    That is a very interesting perspective about ghosts. Seems right to me, except that I believe there can be ghosts of GOOD people, too. After one of my old great aunties passed away, I resided in her house, alone, for a few years. It is an old, ante-Bellum mansion, on 1200 acres – and everyone thought I was nuts to live there by myself (of course, I had domestic help who resided on the farm – but I spent my nights alone, or with a girlfriend.)
    Guests often awakened screaming about nightmares, or the ghost of the Yankee soldier who had been caught looting the house after a battle. Every one of my girlfriends would NOT be left there, alone. Anyhow, no ghosts ever bothered ME, and I counted it because they knew I loved the family and that house. Today, it is a “wedding destination”, having been purchased outside the family by some Washington rich folk who have changed its name, and have a website for expensive “horse country” weddings. I often wonder if all those guests are ever scared shitless by the supposed hauntings….(?)

  13. Gilbert, yes I think sometimes the person(ghost) lingers a bit due either to a confusion, a extra srong urge to not let go or even a compelling desire to say goodbye to someone they love very much. We’ve all heard the stories and even known people who have experienced these things. In death, as in everything, there are nuances, subtleties and anomalies.

    I once saw a ghost. Rather a dark evil ectoplasmic mass. I’m convinced it was what was left of the previous occupant of the house I was living in. He was a nasty mean old SOB who had drunkenly fallen down the stairs breaking his bloody neck. A friend’s Grandpa.

    One very cold winter night I was sitting by the gas stove listening to the radio with my German shepherd beside me. Suddenly he sat up like a statue, ears straight up, staring directly ahead not moving, barely even breathing. What struck me immediately was his total silence. Since he had varied yaps, barks or growls for anyone approaching, depending on who it was, I was immediately curious as to what was happening. I said “who is it Ricky, chew his leg off” just to get a rise out of him but he didn’t budge from his statue posture or make one single sound. Very odd indeed..

    After a couple of minutes he then slowly turned his head to the right, looking directly at the hallway where the down stairs door was. Right then through the closed door at the top of the stairs came a dark, cold and evil looking wavy ectoplasm which crossed the hallway and went into the kitchen. I could even see its shadow reflected on the white cupboard as it passed into the kitchen. After a few seconds Ricky silently laid back down as if nothing had happened and that was that. I followed his lead.

    One of several paranormal /extraordinary experiences I’ve absorbed. (lol)

    1. “….a dark, cold and evil looking wavy ectoplasm…”

      hp, reading your interesting story made me think of another “hp” – the author, HP Lovecraft

      Somehow I think you may be familiar with his work. He, a master of the macabre right up there with Poe. When I was a much younger man I couldn’t get enough of their stories. 😱

    2. HP –

      German Shepard dogs are the best, most aware friends a man can have! I had one, too – a Black and Tan female I called “Suzy”. When she perked up like yours did, I knew something was out-of-place, or lurking about… :). (I get teared-up just thinking about my Suzy. Excuse me.)

      1. Gilbert, agreed. Ricky was so smart his awareness and communications extended beyond verbal commands and hand-body signals into the psychic realm. I’d swear to it.

        He certainly knew me better than most people did and slept under or beside my bed to support my beauty rest even while surrounded by an assortment of miscreants, cretins and goblins disguised as neighbors.

        OK, enough off topic for a week or two..

      2. Gil
        There’s no better friend than a great dog. I always tear up when I think of the canine pals I’ve lost over the years. Unconditional love will do that to ya every time ❤
        But we’ll meet up again. Somewhere. Sometime. I’m certain of it 🐶

  14. Sister Monica wrote “In case you’re wondering, both LD and I are devout Christians. Our views on euthanasia are shared by millions of other Christians who find euthanasia not only compatible with Christianity but intrinsic to it. I would gladly help my nearest and dearest to die out of sheer mercy and love. It cannot be right to deny to our loved ones the precious gift we give to our cats and dogs.”
    That’s very interesting indeed as I count myself as Christian (at least from my background) actually my background is Catholic and everything I imbibed about suicide/euthanasia stressed the isolation and shame of it. This does seem very unfortunate as it puts a person in a very no win situation. But I am glad to hear that in some quarters at least (yours for example) there is another way of looking and dealing with this. I think this is one of the main aims of ‘Exit International’ to remove the shame and isolation, to raise the possibility of a ‘good death’ surrounded by friends and family but in a more DIY manner. Dignitas etc are expensive and ringed around by Medical and Legal people and issues. I’m afraid as the world gets ‘worse’ there will be more demand for the DIY approach but hopefully with less shame and isolation. It might be the best we can do as we enter into some serious dystopia.

    1. @ Patrick Griffin

      I like what you say. I am all for the DIY approach if euthanasia continues to be criminalized.

      It may interest you to know that both LD and I were born into traditional Roman Catholic families and were taught by nuns and priests. Never once were we exposed to sexual abuse of any kind and we came to love and respect our mentors, who, for all their faults or perceived narrowness, were good people with good intentions. However, we could not accept many Catholic doctrines, especially their opposition to euthanasia which we saw as misguided. Nor do we accept post-Vatican II Catholicism and its so-called “reforms”.

      The idea that suicides are damned forever and can only be buried in unconsecrated ground is one we reject completely. It is an abominable doctrine verging on cruelty.

      1. That is very interesting I was born in a very traditional Irish Catholic family. And my experience very much mirrors what you talk about. Specifically I went (by choice) to an all boys boarding school that was run by priests. So from 13 y.o to 18 y.o I was sleeping in an all boys dorm with priests keeping a bit of discipline. Not ONCE did I encounter, hear of or in any way have any kind of sexual experience, no abuse, no pornography, no nothing. Either from other boys or the priests. This was only my personal experience but it was the same story ‘at home’ again nothing of that nature. Any yet every time i come back to Ireland the news was full of all these sexual abuse stories. I have come to the conclusion that this meme was exaggerated and used by (((them))) to ruin the Catholic Church in Ireland and it has worked like a charm!! Attendance at Mass and overall respect for the Church is so far down now. Last year it’s like the Church had nothing to say even opposing the legalization of abortion, same story 2 years before with the legalization of gay marriage. I even think sexual abuse of children may have been a real and bigger problem in the synagogues not to mention to abuse inherent in circumcision etc.
        It’s a sad fact that so much ‘public opinion’ is created on the basis of so much un-truth but they are masters at it.
        I agree with you very much about suicides and actually suicide has become a lot more common in Ireland. It’s terrible to think aside from the pain that drove people to it the lack of peace and resolution at the end if a kind of final straw of cruelty and mis-understanding

        1. @ Patrick Griffin

          Many thanks for your wise thoughts. All I can say to you is this: long live Holy Mother Church! Our Church has weathered the storm for 2000 years and I’d love to see what superior alternatives there are. I haven’t seen any. Nor has my silent friend Lasha who has shopped for many years in the supermarket of alternative religions, and is quite happy to remain in the religion of her ancestors.Those who spit on our religion simply spit in their own faces. Let them worship their own gods and claim the moral high ground if they wish. We are quite happy to be regarded as the lowest of the low, like G.K. Chesterton’s donkey! 🙂

  15. Not wanting to overdo writing here but it just occurs to me the essay in question here talked about these Irish women who helped the author’s mother. It is a fair guess they were Catholic also and it is this kind of indigenous Irish Catholic culture that has been targeted for destruction with all these tales of sexual abuse and clerical deviancy. Not to say bad things did not occur but the real story I feel is the “Agenda” which was and is to wipe out this kind of tribal indigenous culture which had a Catholic veneer or surface. Attack the surface and gradually the rest goes also. Sad but true.

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