Following the American Psychological Association’s Guidelines
Q1: I am not particularly anxious at the prospect of my own death. Though I do not tend to be especially brave in situations that call for it, I am not overwhelmed with the idea that my death is about to happen at any second. I do think about it sometimes, and it does cause confusing feelings. However, the anxiety that I feel does not hinder my day-to-day life. I believe I experience a normal level of anxiety, given the subject. A statement that was particularly stressful for me to consider was about my experience with friends and family dying being wholly negative. I have never experienced a death that was not negative. Even those who die of old age are still dead. I no longer have them hear with me. To try twisting the concept of death into anything that is not negative seems ludicrous. In one instance I had a relative who was in a great deal of pain, and death released them from that, but beyond that instance yes, that statement made me think about those situations that were stressful. I imagine that I feel that way because I grow attached to certain people. I understand that a death brings an irreversible finality that seems cruelly unfair, and it is hard to wrap my brain around, even now, that I will not see those individuals again.
Q2: After living for 85 years, I hope there would be many things to list in my obituary. Firstly, I would like my remaining family to be listed. I would also like my parents and spouse to be listed, even though my parents will surely have died, and my spouse may have preceded me in death. Next, I would list where I lived, where I made my home with my family. I want close friends listed, as well. Too many people spend time going after material objects; I want my obituary to reflect love and human connection. A brief synopsis of my life story would be fine, listing education and any professional accomplishments I may achieve, but I would prefer it if the focal point were my spouse, children, grandchildren, and any other friends and family. I have always wanted to live my life, remembered for my connection to family. I cannot take money or college degrees with me, and while those things are important, and can be mentioned, I would rather people remember me, not what I have done.
Q3: After living a short life of 21 years, I do not expect there would be much to list. I would still like my family to be listed. My immediate family, grandparents, close aunts, uncles, and cousins should be mentioned first, followed by my best friends, who would surely take up most of my time during that point in my life. It would be difficult to complete any major life accomplishments at such a young age. Therefore, beyond my familial bonds, one could list my hobbies or my short time in the educational system, as well as my future ambitions, both personal and professional. It may sound arrogant but perhaps the obituary could mention how unfair it is to die that young, because it always is unfair to die when one is still so full of potential.
Q4: The top two individuals I would list on my healthcare proxy are my mother and father. They have been responsible for me my whole life and proven repeatedly that they will attempt to be there for me and support me. If anything were to happen to me. They know me best and I trust that they would carry out any wishes I had in the event that I was unable to make my own decisions. They also have my best interests at heart. I know that if they made a decision, it would be for the best, and even if it went wrong, it would be easily forgivable by everybody around them. I do not know the medical wishes of my family, should a situation such as this arise. The more thought I give to the subject, however, the surer I am that I should know these details in the event that something were to happen. A few friends are aware of my wishes, but the statements have been vague; I have never had a serious conversation with a family member about these issues. The psychological state of an individual coping with death are the stages of grief. Personally, I believe that the first stage of denial and isolation is the most difficult. Handling something so traumatizing on your own can make the situation worse. Denying it prolongs the pain. I understand not wanting to believe that you have lost somebody so integral to your life but wish so desperately that the stage of denial is one that we could all skip past.