DYING: A Memoir

CORY TAYLOR

Taylor was 60 when she was told that what had started off as a melanoma was now incurable cancer. She had already witnessed difficult deaths: both her parents died in nursing homes after long and humiliating dementia. The last time Taylor saw her mother, she watched as a nurse changed her diaper. “The look in my mother’s eyes as she turned and saw me reminded me of an animal in unspeakable torment.” Taylor’s one comforting thought when she received her own terminal diagnosis was that she wouldn’t have to go like that: she had the time, and the mental capacity, to find her way towards a better death. Interested in assisted dying, she ordered a euthanasia drug from China. It gave her peace of mind to know she had a way out if needed. “It surprises me that I have any qualms at all [about euthanasia], “since I have never thought of myself as a person of particularly high moral standards.”  

Taylor examines the experiences that shaped her into who she is. Each vignette glimmers like her description of the light in Fiji, where she lived briefly as a child: “so pure that it infused every object with an extra intensity, so that a flower was not just red, or a blade of grass just green.” “The moments that stand out for me are the ones when I felt most alive.” 

“When you’re dying, even your unhappiest memories can induce a sort of fondness, as if delight is not confined to the good times, but is woven through your days like a skein of gold thread.”  “The accident of birth is just that. And so is everything that happens afterwards, or so it seems to me.”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s