This is only a Preview!

You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.

Posting a Diary Entry

Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.

When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.

If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.


  1. One diary daily maximum.
  2. Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
  3. No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
  4. Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
  5. Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
  6. Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
  7. Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
For the complete list of DailyKos diary guidelines, please click here.

Please begin with an informative title:

I've becoming something of the go-to eulogist around my hood. Don't dig it. Too bad.

This is likely the hardest I shall have to write. Not because the departed and I were all that close, but because the departed did not particularly wish to be eulogized, or even known to depart.

Still, I feel the nature of the departure holds some profound lessons for those of us who remain. And so I selfishly type this small remembrance. It will necessarily be grammatically clunky and difficult, because to come close to honoring the departed's wishes, I have to remove all identifying marks, even gender-specific pronouns. I ask your indulgence.


You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

N (not even a real initial; a pseudonitial, if you will) lived in our neighborhood. A medical professional, N likely knew the implications when curious lumps and bumps began appearing, but declined to get tested and confirm their meaning. N, like many, was not the happiest person, and perhaps felt what was happening was a way to get off the bus without actually jumping, with the ethical baggage that brings. Still, though N didn't precisely jump, N certainly leaned out. On tiptoe.

N's cancer was ravenous and blindingly fast. By the time it was even acknowledged as cancer, it was CANCER. It was never really acknowledged to anyone but N, though. Not to the neighbors, not to friends or co-workers. It was only through the vehement protests of the few who did know that N even allowed parents--even N's own adult child--to know, and not until it was nearly hospice time.

The end was quick and ugly. N refused to allow anyone access to the hospice and died militantly alone.

It is a circumstance of which I've never heard the like, and one which I could never inflict on those who care for me. N's behavior was, by every yardstick I've ever held, wrong.

And right, as in within N's rights. Damn few of us choose how we live and even fewer how we die. N did, and chose to die alone, leaving loved ones shattered not only by the departure, but by N's insistence that the trip was N's alone. No passengers allowed.

And so, despite what I presume N would wish, I must salute this choice I find so wrong, so cruel, even. Because it is the choice of a free individual, the last one available. N's actions embody a principle we all lip-serve, but sometimes deny when the implications cut too close: a person's life, even to the manner of its end, is that person's own to make.

Though I don't think I'll ever understand or agree with the choices N made, I hope that I would fight to the death to defend N's right to make them.

N did, after all.

Extended (Optional)

Your Email has been sent.