Robin Williams’s suicide came as a shock to me. From his movies, I always thought that he was a happy guy, very funny and sociable. Depression is not for him. In particular, his part in the comedy “Mrs.Doubtfire” always laughed me into tears and onto the floor. Now that he is gone. It is tragic that the world lost a great comedy genius so suddenly. The only consolation is that he was able to choose how he left this world, something that the majority of us probably will not be able to do.
I am not trying to glorify suicide here. I just want to bring out the point that since we all will have to die someday, is it not better to be able to choose how we leave our world? I think Robin Williams must have thought it through and, in his own mind; it was the best way to end his life. People who die suddenly like in accidents or emergency illnesses will be sorry that they have no time to settle the human affairs around them before leaving. On the other hand, people who are able to end their lives in their own ways on they own time schedules will usually have enough time to do so. They can leave with little worries, however sad to the people they leave behind.
At this senior age of 67, I always wonder when I am go to die. …And how? (Chilling feeling) I hope it is up to me to choose. At the moment, everything is quiet and stable, but I know I cannot live forever. Without a religion bringing me an afterlife, I know my death is absolute. There is nothing beyond it. I only get this one chance and I am enjoying it to the full. At the end of it, I hope I will be able to take care of everything before leaving on my own terms. I treasure freedom so much for my whole life. This will be the most important ultimate freedom for me.
Every week when I go grocery shopping, I drive by a cemetery called the Mountain View. Indeed, it sits on a large piece of land on a high ground with a beautiful view of the Vancouver North Shore Mountains. There are large plots with magnificent tombstones. I often wonder why should these dead souls have to occupy such a nice piece of land with million-dollar view, while most of the rest of us in Vancouver have to scramble for pigeon-hole size apartments. Furthermore, if every person on earth has to occupy a piece of land this way after they pass away, the earth will soon run out of livable land in a short few thousand years. The irony is that, with very few exceptions, the memory values of these graves will wear off quickly in a few generations. After that, nobody will be visiting these graves anymore and these “dead spaces” will no longer have any meaning to anybody.
With the recent attention to Climate Changes, we all feel sorry already for generating so much waste while we live on this planet, so for the sake of people living on this planet after us, I think we should not waste any more of the Earth resources after we die, no matter how important we think we once were and worth remembering. We came with no footprints, and we should leave with no footprints.
For myself, I hope I will be able to choose my own ending when living on any further becomes meaningless, such as with a very painful long-term illness. Life is precious but has to be meaningful. After that, I would choose to be cremated and then the ashes scattered into the Fraser River. Let them flow slowly west into the Pacific Ocean. Someday a few grains of them will float into the Hong Kong harbor. …And I will be home!