End-of-life goals.

13 April 2006

I heard something on KUT today about Doug's House, a hospice for people with AIDS. The folks who run the hospice help the residents with various things, whether it's bathing, cooking meals, or what have you. They also help residents to achieve "end-of-life goals" — the things these AIDS patients want to do before they check out.

By no means would I compare my everyday — ridiculously healthy — existence with that of a late-stage AIDS patient. But the truth is that we are all terminal patients. The radio piece got me thinking about what my own end-of-life goals are.

Try this thought experiment: Imagine that you are diagnosed with an incurable disease that will have no ill effects on you until 30 months from today — but that on that day it will kill you. You have a zero percent chance of survival on 901st day from today, but you'll enjoy rude health until then.

What would you do with yourself?

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
—Mary Oliver


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