[ previous ]
[ next ]
@ Death with dignity

I would like to tell about the story of the TV drama I saw in New York as I promised in the last time blog. At that time I myself held a position of New York representative of a Japanese TV production company.

I remember the stage of the drama was in the time approximately between 1916 and 1917 because it was the time when America had decided to participate in the First World War. At the first time when I began to see the drama, I just watched at the TV thinking it as a usual melodrama without so much interest, hence my memory about the time is not certain.

A young man, in the end of his teens or the beginning of twenties, working in his dad's bakery, received a mobilization order and was ordered to go to the European front. In the previous night before his dispatch, he would spend a first but last night with his lover, they were pledged to marry in the future, in his house, a small apartment in which he lived together with his dad.
His dad, who met with them, warmly cheered them up saying "Do your best!" and drank on slowly in a pub outside.


The young man sent to the European front encountered with a direct shot of artillery in a trench and fainted away in an instant. The drama until this point was so cool that I was not satisfied with the story telling.

Grim realities the young man, who awoke from such long coma as nobody knew how long it took, should have realized were that he lost hands and feet, couldn't hear nor speak. What he was further shocked than such physically desperate situation "When, what day of what month of what year is it now?" It was not the question "Where on earth am I now?"

What the young man, who lost all means for communicating with the external world, thought of, after long agony, was to send the 'Morse code' by using his neck only which he could move a little bit. However, German doctors, who observed the young man just as a 'living guinea pig', could understand his neck motion just as a kind of cramped symptoms.

The overall story itself was very simplified and showed a rather dense taste of Hollywood, anyhow that lover became a nurse after a lot of troubles, was dispatched to the hospital where the young man was detained, and succeeded in nursing him. Of course, she observed the young man's motions, I'm not sure whether this expression is appropriate or not, with the greatest care and could immediately understand his 'Morse code'.

His question was "When is it today, the month and the year?" She replied to the question by slowly writing "Today is Christmas of the year of 19xx" on the breast of the young man, her lover. I already forgot when the 19xx was, however my eyes, being easily moved to tears, were already in flood.

Their simple but warm dialogue by the 'Morse code' and the 'touching letters' continued, however she never told "she is the lover". What the young man keenly asked was no other than "I want to die", a bitter message, earnest or desperate or simple, from a person who was deprived of one's 'death'.

After sufferings, finally, she decided and practiced to take of his 'artificial device for life support', however doctors of the German army found it and put the device back, and she was changed the position, and the drama finished too soon.

After the drama, about for 2 hours, finished, I was filled with some strange anger and wandered about pubs in Manhattan until the morning, I still remember it vividly.

The attached illustration is the 'clay figure' in the ancient Japan which was believed to have a power that one's illness could be recovered by cutting off the same part as one's painful part.

[ previous ]
[ next ]

top page