Pat McKenna: Learn from Native Americans

The account Warren Church’s death was life-affirming and mapped out the joy and tranquility of a normal acceptance of dying. In Britain we have so far to go still. We think California is “sorted,” so job done and dying can be a relaxed compassionate process with everyone’s right to an assisted death guaranteed. Reading of Warren Church’s death it is a shock to see that accessing the medication and healthcare is still difficult and only really open to those who can afford it and fight for it. Yep, Western culture is still so much in denial of death. In contrast, witness that lovely final nod to the acceptance of native American indian braves who would say on a fine day going into battle that it would be a good day to die. Even in the prime of life! For us oldies who are in the final semester, we should have both learned to accept death and have earned the right to a good one on our own terms, health and circumstance permitting.

Pat McKenna
Cardiff CF11 9DG

Editor’s note: According to the Cambridge Dictionary and McKenna, “sorted” is a “lovely Cockney expression” that describes situations in which everything is correctly organized or repaired, or when someone has everything that is needed. As McKenna says, it’s when everything is “solved — done and dusted.”


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