The point of the title is not the free commercial but the fact that death, often – usually – bad news for all concerned, can sometimes be good news. We know there’s no use complaining about it. It happens, and non obstante Woody Allen, there are no exceptions, even for him. Sometimes it is unexpected, as it was that time you, like myself some years ago, had to interrupt your vacation to return home to bury a relative or friend. It can even be so pathetic that it causes not only sorrow but anger, despair and sometimes loss of faith in God, as when tiny children succumb to cancer or young people die in tragic accidents on the way home from the disco.
But we have all had relatives whose death we welcomed as a liberation from suffering. Unfortunately religious scruples sometimes prevent people from accelerating the process by putting an end to pointless pain. We would never describe excess-morphine assisted death as putting people out of their misery – a phrase reserved for animals – but it would be a perfectly accurate description nonetheless.
Death is tough – on the living. But for the central character of the drama it can be … good. Personally I would not want to have to put up with meaningless, often terrible pain, nor even with the handicaps, the dependence, and the indignities of a terminal illness become unbearable. “Libera nos, Domine” ? God liberates those who liberate themselves.