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An Easy Death: the Gunnie Rose series

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If a witness is a beneficiary (or the married partner or civil partner of a beneficiary), the will is still valid but the beneficiary will not be able to inherit under the will.

signed by the two witnesses, in the presence of the person making the will, after it has been signed. After the war, she emerged as one of the leaders of the existentialist movement, working with Sartre on Les Temps Modernes.

In depicting her mother’s refusal to ‘go gentle’ while her autonomy and dignity are taken from her, Simone de Beauvoir ‘shows the power of compassion when it is allied with acute intelligence’ ( Sunday Telegraph). Gordon, a Baby Boomer, sees her work and the recent public interest in end-of-life issues as a byproduct of her generation aging — an extension of the consciousness-raising of the 1960s and “one of the good echoes” from that era, she quips.

Ali Smith’s persuasive introduction highlights how controversial Simone de Beauvoir’s account was when it first appeared, a brief, but detailed account of the last few weeks of her mother’s life – or maybe better described as her long, drawn-out death. They’re looking for someone that Gunnie knows, but Gunnie isn’t revealing all her cards to these untrustworthy magicians. Surely hospice workers, physicians, oncologists, “right-to-die” advocates, cancer-cell biologists, bioethicists, and the like have a special view on dying. The mother dies a completely natural death from natural causes which nonetheless seem from close up so absolutely unnatural and even unfair.Long considered one of Simone de Beauvoir’s masterpieces, A Very Easy Death is a profoundly affecting, day-by-day recounting of her mother’s final days after she is hospitalized following a fall.

Furthermore, exercising freedom — in this case, the freedom of choice to end one’s life — is not the same as following moral rules. If you want to destroy a will, you must burn it, tear it up or otherwise destroy it with the clear intention that it is revoked. It would be hard to think that Simone de Beauvoir who flaunted so many strictures of life, would accept death. Though she did not consider herself a philosopher, she had a significant influence on both feminist existentialism and feminist theory. This memoir-essay is fluid and open, and with unflinching honesty describes a feeling and thought that many are often too afraid to say - especially when it comes to speak of a loved one post-death.For more information about what executors have to do, see Dealing with the financial affairs of someone who has died. So I turn to you, brave and patient reader: from the absurd to the probable, how would you like to die?

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