Tom Petty died yesterday.
I didn’t expect it to effect me, but it did. Why? Because I always liked his personality, even when I didn’t really care for his music.
Tom was a pioneer. In music. In bankruptcy court. In copyrights. In thinking things through, and being able to translate those moments in time into a 3 minute earworm that just won’t leave your consciousness.
He wasn’t perfect.
He was stubborn.
He wouldn’t quit, even when he couldn’t express himself well. He just had the courage of his convictions to sustain him in any fight.
Thinking ahead, knowing that he had more money than might be good for a person, he put a plan in place about his final wishes. He didn’t want to linger, tethered to equiment – just because he had the funds – if he could not be returned to the life he’d enjoyed and be fully functional.
Thinking ahead, his family knew what to do if he ended up hooked up to machines.
First responders did what they could to save him after he was found in cardiac arrest. They tried.
That being said, though, his executor of his estate (family or someone else) made the final call to unhook him when it was clear that he needed life support in order to survive.
They respected his final wishes as outlined in his healthcare directive.
Left to its own devices, his body continued its functions until it slowly ran down to his death.
When the time comes, have your paperwork executed and make your wishes known. Don’t leave your survival to the tender mercies of professionals who are driven to save people at all costs, or family and friends who cannot accept the inevitability of death.
A DNR is the kindest thing you can do for yourself and your loved ones.