Choosing the Way You Die


How would you like to die?

Would you like to die rich, fighting for every breath while tethered to every conceivable life support system in the medical world? You are surrounded by lawyers, accountants, relatives, and heck, even distant relatives wishing that you would either pass or not. Or would you like to die a poor man, with not a single cent to your name, with only four or five family members attending your funeral? The cheap white casket gleams with the 15 watt fluorescent bulb at the sides, while daisies and mums adorn your surroundings. Guests are served $10 biscuits.

Danny, don't write about this, nobody in the nine hells cares or wishes to read something negative, something utterly dark and forlorn, something that most people would rather like to delude themselves about or pretend to not exist. As I prevent my fingers from doing their dreary dance on the keyboard, I am reminded that the whole point of trying to quit smoking is to try and stop myself from dying. Every puff, every breath, and every stick is a dreary number deducted from the total I will have. Be it thirty-two years, forty, fifty or god forbid 90 years, I am going to die one day. With smoking, that death becomes more painful for me and my family. But open your mind and think about this for a while: who really knows how they're going to die or when?

Save for those who end their lives prematurely, nobody does. It is something beyond our control even with the most stringent of measures applied. Even legendary visionaries in the known world have no control over this phenomenon of mortality. How did Steve Jobs die? Pancreatic cancer. Did he have the means to prevent it? Maybe yes, maybe no. He certainly had the wherewithal to make the event at least comfortable. There are no accounts to indicate that he was a smoker, drinker, or that he suffered from any other terminal addictions. Some even say he was a fruitarian. But he did die of the dreaded disease nonetheless. The argument is weak, I know. And if we put science into the equation, we know that it's just a matter of statistical probability. Our circumstances, habits, environment and genes all play a role in something that we cannot really factor in. At least, not just yet.

So why should we stop smoking if we are going to die nonetheless?

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