Life And Death.

I had couple of friends visiting me some days ago and we had discussions on a wide range of subjects. Both are part of a group to which I too belong, which has monthly meetings where such discussions take place and, it was not unusual that it happened again.

One of the friends unfortunately has recently been having morbid thoughts. He is four years older than I am and has seen much suffering in his life despite having had a successful academic life. He has been exploring various avenues of living in some kind of seclusion in some old peoples’ home.

Among the issues that have been agitating him is the concept of  “Right To Die”.  He has lately been studying cases of euthanasia and has been wanting to carry out research on the subject among senior citizens of India.

He lives alone except to spend every Sunday with his only son, daughter in love and grandson. My other friend and I believe that his recent bouts with health issues like high blood pressure and insomnia has brought him to some morbid thinking. That is the reason he brought this topic up again to discuss and I was a bit impatient with him as, we had discussed this topic a number of times before and had concluded that he should seek help rather than live with some morbid thoughts of euthanasia.

I finally had had enough and told him that though I had come across many people from all walks of life with fear of death;  he is the first and only one that I have come across with a fear of life.  I bluntly asked him as to why he was afraid to live the full life allotted to him and enjoy it to the best of his ability.

He was taken aback but, quickly recovered and said that, that was the problem indeed. He was afraid to live the way he was living and would rather not. That insight has changed his attitude somewhat as he called me up earlier today to thank me for the insight. I again suggested that he seek psychiatric help and he has agreed finally to do that.

9 thoughts on “Life And Death.”

  1. What Agent said. He needs to air all these thoughts with a therapist, work through them and hopefully come to a new perspective on life and what it offers. Then he can think again about whether it’s worth continuing the journey.

    You’ve been very patient with his repeated airing of the subject and his reluctance to seek professional help.

  2. I agree with you Ramana, he needs outside help. Some people I know are like him, quite depressed and negative and don’t see any joy in their lives just losses and lack. I think it is often grief for the way things used to be and fighting against the changes aging brings. And it is often self-fulfilling in that the intolerance seeps into relationships.

    I wish your friend the best and hope he becomes more engaged with life positively.


  3. I wonder if where he lives is part of what’s making him so depressed.
    sometimes if all you see are illness or people near death themselves that it surely must affect you. I wish he could be where there were more age groups maybe.
    but at any rate… you convinced him to get professional help. that is wonderful.

  4. I think you were a good friend to push him and jar him out of his morbid thoughts briefly, I hope he sees a counselor and finds some way to enjoy life again; perhaps by helping someone.

  5. agree with everyone else…


    if the first therapist or whatever, doesn’t feel right – then he must move on to another. No point in finding himself having the same repeating conversation with a therapist if it’s going no where.

    I know people who have spent a lot of time, finding the “right fit”

  6. I wouldn’t call your friend’s reflections “morbid”. Death is with us from the moment we are born. To me mortality (and its fallout) was brought to my attention when I was eight years old. My grandmother, the woman who brought me up during those first few years of my life, the woman who I love most, died. Every 18th February of every year, for decades, is nothing but a day of sorrow. Not that I feel sorrow on any day of the year if a thought or a scent takes me there.

    Death fascinates me. I also believe that, largely, our quest when we philosophize is an attempt to find meaning to life in the face of the one certainty in our lives, namely death.

    Some say, death is the last tabu. And it appears to be. No one likes to talk about it. I do. But I would never describe myself as “morbid”. Quite the opposite. It’s just – facts are facts. And I’d rather look them in the face then turn away.

    As to your friend looking into “euthanasia”, again I think it valid that we should be able and allowed to put an end to our lives when there is no value to it any longer. Whether there is to his (subjectively/objectively) who knows?

    It’s a difficult subject, not least because our death isn’t just our own. We need to consider those we leave behind. It’s so strange, Ramana, until I became a mother the prospect of my own death was nothing to me. Then, after the Angel’s birth? Well, then I couldn’t just die. I made deals with God (just in case he exists), I made deals with the devil, anything to be there to see my son, protected, into adulthood. So far, so fine. He is a man now. Currently reflecting on the concept of “absurdity” (see Camus and others).


    1. This subject is a very difficult one to tackle either in the blogsphere or even personally as it was between me and my friend. I am as fascinated with the subject as you are but, frankly, I am not obsessed with the idea like my friend was.

Comments are closed.