Once upon a time, when The Witch Doctor was very young – about the age of four, she used to sit beside her mother on a big couch in front of a blazing coal fire in the bleak mid-winter evenings. She would be drinking a cup of hot, milky cocoa before going to bed.
It was story-telling-time for the young witch child. They were usually the “normal” children’s stories like Cinderella, Red-Riding Hood, Snow-White etc. but often they were not read out of a book but were told with the addition of various embellishments in her mother’s own words.
Some of the stories that she heard have never since been encountered elsewhere by The Witch Doctor, and so she assumes they originated purely from her mother’s imagination.
There was one very brief and simple story that was a particular favourite of The Witch Doctor and she often asked for it to be repeated again and again on these winter nights.
She can’t for the life of work out why she liked this story so much because it was a bit gruesome for a child. Some children might think it even more gruesome than a wolf eating Red-Riding Hood’s granny. Since The Witch Doctor was not really into gruesome tales the fact she liked this one must have been something to do with the way her mother told it, the words she used, and the expression on her face.
Essentially, the story was about a little boy whose mother had died. One day he stepped off from the pavement in front of a car and was killed. He met up with his mother again in Heaven. So everyone was happy.
End of story.
That was all there was to it!
Now that The Witch Doctor is older and wiser, she asks herself:
“What was that childhood story her mother told her really about?”
Firstly, it was always about a little boy, never a girl. Was this because her mother did not want to personalise it in a way that pointed to the WD being that child?
Secondly, could it have been a road safety story, warning that children should take great care when crossing roads? If so this was never enlarged upon during it’s telling. Furthermore, it could be argued that it might encourage a bereaved child to walk in front of a car so that he could find himself in Heaven with those he loved.
Thirdly, could it have been a story that was handed down? Was it a family story told to my mother when she herself was very young? You see, the Witch Doctor’s mother was an orphan. Her father died when she was two and her mother when she was only six years old. Had relatives tried to lighten her mother’s burden by indicating that her parents were alive and well in Heaven and waiting for her there?
Fourthly, could it have been that The Witch Doctor’s mother thought she herself was dying and was trying to prepare the way for some kind of coping strategy for her own young daughter’s grief?
The latter is a distinct possibility, but that tale is for another day.
For some weird reason, The Witch Doctor remembered this story when she read about the current reactivation of the euthanasia debate (for the moment they are calling it “assisted suicide”)
Here we go again, thought The Witch Doctor. It’s like the Irish Referendum. This lot will come back again and again till they get the vote through.
There will be safeguards.
Of course there will……..
Then there will be Creep.
Of course there will……..
Assisted suicide should be legal, says major report to parliament.
“MPs should consider changing the law on assisted suicide to allow some terminally ill people to end their lives at home with the help of their doctor, a major report into the subject has concluded.
The Commission on Assisted Dying, chaired by the former lord chancellor Lord Falconer, says a choice to end their own lives could be safely offered to some people with terminal illnesses, provided stringent safeguards were observed.”
It has always seemed to The Witch Doctor that many of those most vociferous about a change in law in favour of assisted suicide and euthanasia are those devout followers of the Atheist and Humanist religions.
If an individual has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, or as Creep inevitably progresses, has not been diagnosed with a terminal illness, but are simply aged and lonely, or perhaps not aged but just lonely, why should they not be assisted to die or euthanased since they believe their loved ones are patiently waiting for them in that same Heaven that The Witch Doctor heard about in her tender years?
Why should an assisted suicide law not allow them die in order to be with those who care about them? Surely lonely people spending eternity with loved ones is a more justifiable reason for assisted suicide/euthanasia that spending it in the powdered ashes of oblivion?
I wonder what the most devout followers of the Atheist and Humanist religions might say about that, My Black Cat?
You think they would just say: “The Witch Doctor is a silly old Bat!”
But that would be very judgemental. We are living in a country where diversity, tolerance and choice are paramount.
Aren’t we, My Black Cat?
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