On and off throughout my life I have been contemplating if I want to know when I’m going to die. These thoughts resurfaced recently with the hanging of Saddam Hussein (where I think the death penalty was a travesty of justice; he should have lived and served his time) and every time I think about it I get all these horrible feelings of what it would actually be like to know.
Take people who are up for execution. What runs through their head when they know they’re will die within minutes? Can they think clearly, or is it just a rush of adrenaline and feelings of panic running through them? People who have some kind of terminal illness, and at one point the doctor gives them the verdict, telling them when they’re about to leave this world. I can’t possibly fathom the fear and exasperation I would feel in such a situation.
Although knowing when it is my time to go would give me the time to prepare my family, say good-byes and make necessary practical and economical arrangements for their benefit, I think, if I get to choose, I prefer not knowing. Just live life to the fullest, without anxiety eating up the short time we all have this short time in our lives.
Would you want to know?