The Weekend & Some Heavy Thoughts
Hi friends and fellow bloggers,
How are things going with you?
I'm doing okay. I've had a fairly bad cold all week but I'm feeling a bit better now. I've gone out here and there to pick up a parcel at the post office and to do a bit of food shopping. I also tried valiantly but unsuccessfully to reach the car insurance place. Basically I'm returning their call about physiotherapy treatments. I'll have to try again next week.
On Friday night DH and I went off to see the new Black Panther movie, Wakanda Forever. It was quite touching in parts and beautifully done. However I still think the first Black Panther movie a few years ago was a tighter story line and I enjoyed it so much. Don't get me wrong though. The new movie is worth watching; especially if you've seen the first installment. There are some new characters who add a lot of depth. The movie is very long at 2.5 hours and I'm glad we went to a showing that was in early evening. The movie ends in such a way as to anticipate more movies in future.
Other than errands, shopping and a movie, I spent the weekend trying to get some rest and worked on a financial project I've had in mind for months. I've been saving all my food receipts for the last 6 months and wanted to input them all into a spreadsheet. I finally did it and it was a real eye opener it was as to exactly how much money was spent on groceries. It's astronomical It's also interesting to see how the spending progressed every month due to the rampant inflation and whether shopping at different stores made a difference in stretching the dollars. I also started waiting a few extra days to a week to buy something we
ran out of and stopped buying things altogether if they were too
expensive. Food costs were extremely high in June and July. Shopping around and delayed purchases made a big difference in September ($200 + savings) and an even bigger difference in October ($350 savings).
I'll be keeping track of all expenses, not just food expenses, for the rest of the year and possibly beyond. But hopefully I won't procrastinate about inputting receipt information in future. You can imagine that it took some time to organize all the receipts and put them in order before I started inputting the data. Tracking the household income and spending will help DH and I with planning our budgets an setting our short-term and long-term financial goals.
Besides daily routines, I watched a very limited amount of television this weekend. Instead I spent some time talking to a relative and a long time friend who is going through a dark time. His life has completely changed over the past year because he developed some kind of spinal problem and can no longer stand up or walk. Physiotherapy hasn't helped and he no longer wants to live so he's been exploring Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID). He's always been a person who experiences a lot of emotional upheaval and various problems and over time his life has become harder and harder mainly due to physical challenges and health issues.
It's hard to be a friend to someone who wants to die and talks often about dying. I really don't believe he wants to die but I do know he hates living in a wheelchair. I know that whatever I say will not change his mind and I no longer offer advice or try to talk him out of what he says he wants to do. I don't believe in taking one's own life with medical assistance except in the very rarest of circumstances. But sadly it's become quite common in Canada and especially in my province for people to end their lives with the help of medical professionals. Recently this option was expanded to include those with mental health problems. I remember hearing about euthanasia as a child. At my tender years I wondered how a society could legalize dying yet here we are now in my country doing the same thing. How did we ever get to this point as a society?
I do understand when some people no longer want to live but the numbers just seem far too high in Canada. These days there are so many people falling through the cracks of society and the disabled and mentally ill are particularly vulnerable. If they only had adequate supports (housing, food, therapy) I think a lot of them would not consider dying early as an option though there will still be some that want to choose their time and place. Medical assistance in dying (MAID) has gotten so popular as an option despite being an option for a short time in Canada. MAID was enacted in June 2016.
Data shows that 10,064 people died in 2021 with medical aid, an increase of 32 per cent over 2020. The report says that 3.3 per cent of all deaths in Canada in 2021 were assisted deaths. On a provincial level, the rate was higher in provinces such as Quebec, at 4.7 per cent, and British Columbia, at 4.8 per cent.
I've been thinking of the MAID issue because the subject was featured on television recently due to the expansion of the laws. Obviously too, with my friend having applied for MAID (I don't know if he heard anything about his application yet) I paid attention to the broadcast. I was alarmed at the high numbers and the fact that Canada's euthanasia numbers have soared so quickly in comparison to the Netherlands, the first country to legalize euthanasia. However, I did a quick google search and found that the numbers of applications and deaths in the Netherlands has also dramatically risen over the past several years. and doubled from 2002 to 2009. It's a sad state to think so many want to end their lives.
Obviously there are many people who are greatly struggling and governments are under pressure to respond to public demands. In Canada, the MAID issue came about due to some very sick people advocating all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada for their right to die and others who lobbied politically. Now that the government has responded and met their demands, it seems like they are getting a bit carried away by expanding the laws to make it easier for the mentally ill to get MAID. I'm greatly concerned about the future. We've already had a veteran being asked by a Veteran's Affairs employee if they considered MAID when what they needed was mental health support. Part of the problem it seems, and some doctors who review MAID applications have said, that is it harder to get appropriate treatments and supports that it is to get MAID. A very sad and concerning state of affairs.
Sorry for the heavy thoughts but this is what is on my mind tonight. When I'm faced with such difficult thoughts, I'm grateful I have my faith and my hope in God. I'm also glad that I can pray for others. It's been my experience that many who are not Christian and don't pray, feel comforted by prayer and will even ask for prayer when they are going through challenging times.
Keep well friends. Stay safe and if you are going through hardships, please reach out to someone near you or call a helpline.