Caught the last half of Oprah on Monday. And I 'm not sure what I think. Topic, as far as I could gather, was about death and dying. And yes, I know, it's the great scary unknown. Certainly not something that makes any of us jump up and down with glee. But still... somehow Oprah crossed a boundary I didn't want her to cross. It's one thing to have Nate Burkus tell me how to decorate or Dr. Oz explain my colon functions, or Oprah herself pontificate about those "aha moments." But having guests who are dying from cancer whose sole function in their segments seemed to be to tell us how to die properly while still enjoying life, well, I mean come on. I don't know how I'll act when it's my time. Maybe I'll go with dignity. I hope I will. Maybe I'll be pissed and angry. Most likely I'll be some combination of the two. Who knows. And while I'm impressed with these people's candor and bravery, mostly I was left feeling Oprah had gone somewhere she didn't need to. It's not enough that we have to read what she picks, watch the movies she suggests, buy what she likes, and cast our votes for her candidate choices. Now we have to die like she tells us, too. We have to "be brave" and "learn something."
Well maybe I'll want to be a coward. Maybe I'll rail and rant and won't want to "go gentle." And honestly, I think that when that time comes, it will be no one's business but my own.
If you want a YA novel that touches your heart and treats death as realistically as I 've seen in while, pick up the new "Before I Die" by Jenny Downham. Or don't pick it up. As I said earlier, it needs to be up to you.
Til next time...