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.


2 thoughts on “Freefallin

  1. Aw shit. I hadn’t heard he was DEAD, I only learned that he’d had a heart attack and been found (at home?) in that state. I loved (well loved is a strong word…maybe admired?) his music and am sorry he’s gone. Another sign that I’m getting too old to linger here. But heaven (or whatever place we go if you believe that kind of thing) gained another member for what must be the greatest band of all time…and I bet they’ll welcome Tom with open arms!

    I agree fully with the sanctity of the DNR. It’s being PREPARED that is key..making sure people know where to find your living will and important documents in the event you can’t tell them. To KNOW that you want or do not want heroic measures. I don’t, but I’m lackadaisical and haven’t gathered my stuff together and told my brothers where it is. There’s also (apparently) a notice one can get now and put on one’s refrigerator door, that is an advanced directive and tells emergency personnel who to contact and what to do, if one, like both of us, is alone and doesn’t have someone with them when the time comes. I need to get one of those, print it in large bold magenta letters and put it prominently on my frig. Huny is great, but she doesn’t always communicate so well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, his family confirmed that he passed away last evening, after they pulled the plug earlier in the day.

    Regarding the refrigerator – that’s a good place to post it, but, if you’re serious, you need the DNR posted in glorious certainty by the front door (where the ambulance crew or any passing stranger may see it) so that it can’t be missed when the emergency services personnel are leaving your home.

    Mine is posted with emergency contact information, and the note that I have a DNR on file.

    Because of the belief in the “sanctity” of life regardless of its quality, you need to put a pretty picture frame around the healthcare proxy and put that with the DNR in a lovely frame so that people can’t miss it if there is an emergency. People ignore DNR’s with impunity all the time, claiming that they have faith in God, or what have you, that their belief in the sanctity of life is more powerful and important than your own choices, yada, yada, yada…

    So, once I’m finished painting the kitchen, there will be a DNR shadow box picture frame with all my important papers regarding health care and end of life right in the open. Until that point, I have a simple writeup posted on the wall in the kitchen, across from that front door.

    My feeling is that making it a dominant part of the decor will re-affirm (should anyone ever care to fight) that I was adamant about my choice to be done with things when it came time.

    Take care of you. I’m slowly getting my head on straight, but it’s taking time to work through all my baggage and related status changes for going from an employee to a terminated disabled worker, and then dealing with the hoops to jump through to get my various incomes and coverages to be able to afford to keep on living without working.


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