Dying young: ‘It’s not what you think’ | Death Land #7


Over the last few weeks, I’ve been
getting up close to death. I’ve travelled from convention halls
in Las Vegas to death cafes in Exeter on a mission to understand mortality. I’ve always been terrified of dying
and that anxiety was the reason this series began. But the people I’ve met have
helped me start to see it differently. In this final episode there’s one
more perspective I want to hear. I’m meeting someone who is facing death much sooner than he expected. Today I meeting a guy called Joe, and Joe is
only a little bit older than me, he’s 34 and he’s been diagnosed
with a terminal illness. I’m looking forward to meeting him. I’ve often imagined what it must be like to be diagnosed with a terminal illness
when you’re young. But I’ve never actually spoken
to anyone that that’s happened to and so yeah, it’s going to be interesting. Hello!
– Hello! Doctors told Joe he had one year to live. Yes, please. Almost two years ago. So that is a table full of drugs. What kind of cancer were you diagnosed with? And they told you that you had a year? After you’ve kind of been given
a prognosis like that and all of this information,
what do you do you next? How do you actually deal with that in your mind? Joe comes to St Christopher’s
hospice every week. It’s a space away from the medical where they’re helping him reckon with the big question that his illness has brought up. Hey!
– Hey Joe, hello. What are the things that have
been most difficult to come to terms with? Joe’s diagnosis has forced him to face a
new reality. He takes me to the place he came to wrestle with the idea that he was dying. So have you been coming up here
for a long time? Why is it difficult to process? Is having this diagnosis
of being ill what you would have imagined it’s like? Because people
imagine it would be … The worst thing in the world. I’m really interested in the kind of,
good bits … Yeah, I’m also somebody who’s imagined
that moment a lot and imagined it being horrible. How about how people around
you have dealt with it? Hi I’m Leah.
– Hi, nice to meet you. Nice to meet you. How did you two meet? And we’ve been married for three
and a half years. Yeah, six months before the diagnosis. … in case I would run away. How has this kind of changed
what you guys were planning for? So a year after Joe’s initial diagnosis,
we found out that the cancer had spread and we stood on London Bridge
and he gave me a hug and said: ‘I’m really sorry, I thought … I was really looking forward to us getting old together.’ And I will always remember it, yeah, and I think because Joe’s … we’re both young
and when life is cut short in that way, it’s not just the life that you’re
losing, it’s the future of that person, which is one of the things that I find
very hard to think about. I take each day as it comes. I take each hour, sometimes even
just the next five minutes, to see what happens
and try not to think too much about what’s going to happen then because we
just don’t know. Now that Joe’s aware of how precious his time is he’s surrounding himself with
the people he loves whenever he can. Joe is one of the first people I met at uni
at freshers’ week, so … Yeah, we’ve been firm friends ever since. That’s a rubbish superpower to have. Sneezing and losing time. Quite a rare thing, is Joe in water. Yeah, I don’t do water.
– You don’t do water? We went on a holiday before and he couldn’t swim and we encouraged him,
as friends do, to jump off a bridge into the water because the rest of us had, it was only when he started floating off we realise how serious he was. Yeah, it was pretty stupid. Do you remember Gladiators? Yes! So this was us playing hang tough
on the Circle line. This is us at the theatre. Oh and that’s the Canterbury beer festival.
There’s a theme emerging, isn’t there? That was a good day. How did you guys both react
when you heard that Joe had cancer? I still haven’t taken it in. In terms of accepting that there’s
a finality to this, you know? I think I’m still working on that, to be fair. We all kind of live in a bubble where we think
we’re indestructible until something like this happens. Has it given you any
new sort of perspectives? You become aware of time,
it’s not an infinite resource. Definitely throws things at a sharper relief doesn’t it? That we are grateful for … When bad things happen it brings people together. Yeah! I think rude perspective about the randomness of life. I think it was maybe something I haven’t
quite appreciated before. Before we started this series, I would
have thought that a situation like Joe’s would be almost impossible to deal with
but the people that I’ve met over the last few weeks have made me see it
differently. I’ve been surprised over and over again by
how people can be faced with their own death, something that’s inconceivably scary, and just kind of deal with it. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t
frightening and that it isn’t very sad but I think we often do find we have the
resources to cope. It might be through friends,
it might be through spirituality, it might be through being practical or just accepting it but I think that people are often more
resilient than they might have expected. It’s actually genuinely got better and I don’t think I necessarily expected that. I think that when you have death anxiety, often one of the things that you can get stuck on is the fact that you can’t know when and
how you’re gonna die and you can’t control it. And I think that doing this has made
me understand that that lack of control can rather than being a source of anxiety,
actually be a relief. So this was the last episode. But next week, we’re going to do a
quick recap of the series. I’m going to have a look through the feedback and respond to some of the comments that you guys have left. So, see you next week!

100 Replies to “Dying young: ‘It’s not what you think’ | Death Land #7

  1. It's sad when people die young. As we age, no matter what our family background is, we r never prepared to die young. We come kicking and screaming into this world, and when we r really terminally sick, we try to linger here longer. Try to keep busy, and enjoy each day Humans, r only on earth for a short time. Blessings and prayers to your friends and family.

  2. I think that being born could be more devastating to us than death. We always come out crying hysterically. Not always on the way out. Tears of joy possibly. Yeah, why do you think we don’t remember our few first years? Acclimating to planet earth can be jarring so to speak. But not before getting booted outta a nice womb room. Into a cold, white, stark reality of a place, including someone slapping ya upon entry. “Thanks and hello to you too. Here we go….

  3. What an insightful way to describe life being more colourful and vivid, because you can forget all the normal life stress. And just live for the moment. X

  4. Nobody is guaranteed a long life. We could go at any time at any age we are always surrounded by death whether we realize it or not.

  5. Great insight on the subject. Personally, I'm not afraid of dying, I'm afraid of suffering. At 59 and perfectly healthy, I'm ready to check out now. I'm too much of a coward and not selfish enough take my own life, but if I was told I would die in my sleep, I would have gone to bed hours ago.

  6. Must be a great guy, cuz he’s surrounded by great people that speaks of his character. Sending positive vibes, courage, strength and peace.

  7. Death is inevitable.. I'm more focused on living..
    On a grave stone is the year of birth,a dash and the year of death. . Its the dash in the middle that matters.

  8. I think he’s very brave to be able to discuss how he feels. If you think about it, he’s just going somewhere where we are all going to be .. just earlier. We all will be there. Every each one of us. It’s not the end. I sincerely believe it’s not but another beginning.

  9. This was tough. My sister died of oral cancer. It was also to her tongue. She died and I miss her terribly every day. ♥️

  10. My ex tried to kill me…put me on life support 2xs in the icu. I died both times. I didn’t feel or even remember a thing! The brain/body is an amazing organism & naturally blocks painful reception to ur limbs when confronted with trauma. DEATH is only scary for the living & those left behind.

  11. "You suddenly feel alive". What powerful words we should all try to heed. Don't wait until you're dying, to live.

  12. I understand her fears about death, but talking to a dying person will just help understand what dying feels like. No one has ever came out of their graves to explain to us what death is really like. My heart goes out to the terminally I'll young man. Mid 30s isn't a full life at all. Nowhere near it.

  13. How do I know that later this year, I will not be diagnosed with a bad illness too? Then i might find out it’s terminal illness. We don’t. I might not see February. But still, we live our pathetic lives that we don’t want to live. We are living our only chance to live the way they tell us to. We need to get out of it. We need to get out of it

  14. So young. I worry and struggle with my health and fear of death everyday. I’ve witnessed many deaths in my life, as well as almost losing my own life. I’m still trying to come to terms and deal with my health struggles since the near death moment I experienced in a car wreck, followed by many seizures due to the bad traumatic brain injury I suffered from, along with breathing problems and constant leg and rib pains. I know that one day my life will come to an end, but I’m only 29 going on 30 and I still feel that I have a lot left in life to see, that I haven’t already seen. Life is beautiful and short, enjoy every minute of it while you’re here!

  15. I've spent so much of my life wanting to die, now that I'm healing emotionally and mentally I'm more terrified of dying and death than ever. I'm scared to go before my time and to miss out
    but I'm terrified of living and losing my loved ones one by one. I don't understand death at all. I'm agnostic, I don't know if I would prefer some type of afterlife or just silence and nothing. Very odd existential feelings.
    To know you are dying and having to face it every day knowing your time is running out- I wish him peace and little pain

  16. That complexion. I've seen it before in my ex who died of colon cancer . It's like they should have been dead a long time ago but the medical intervention did just that …..intervened . I was born due to medical intervention . My mother was losing me and she got some drugs to prevent the miscarriage. Kind of wish that wasn't done actually . We need to stop messing with nature.

  17. I too have an obsession of death, it’s terrifying to me,the anxiety and thought the of it pops into my head everyday

  18. Difference being afraid and obsessed. Think she’s obsessed with death. I’m afraid of twisting my ankle going down stairs in office building. Stairwells slippery. But I’m not obsessed about it.

  19. I can’t put in words how important this series will be as a resource for those struggling with death anxiety (common and also not so common – interesting to read the comments/views/opinions, the variety shows how human all of these emotions are). Beautifully done. This is just so ‘real’. All I could ask for is more. Wholeheartedly, after watching this series, and although my emotions were a roller coaster, I felt more at peace with the entire idea of dying. If I could scale my fear of death from 1 to 10, 10 being extreme severe paranoia of death, I started at a 9, and now feel more at a 6-7. Work to be done, but that’s on me. This is a great start. THANK YOU.

  20. We choose our own death before we incarnate. Death is actually amazing and joyful. Nothing to be afraid of. Its a trandition into yet more life. And you wont even be sad about leaving your body once you do it. Your soul enjoys the freedom!

  21. “My brain is only a receiver, in the Universe there is a core from which we obtain knowledge, strength and inspiration. I have not penetrated into the secrets of this core, but I know that it exists.”

    ― Nikola Tesla

  22. What I had learned from death, seeing my loved ones and my young friends die, to even having a couple of near death experiences myself!
    What I have learned is, don't bother yourself with death, it is okay to think about it from time to time (it's all natural) but don't bother about dying , because if you do, you will die long before you actually die.
    So, live life instead, go do something you've never done in your life
    You want to sing in front of many people? Go to a karaoke club! You want to learn how to ride a bike? Go buy yourself one!
    Don't just sit there and think about how you could have done that X amount of years ago, that time won't come back, but you can make it happen in this time, now!
    Don't you worry about regrets, you'll find something to regret about on your deathbed, the question is:
    How many regrets do you wanna have once your time comes to an end?

  23. Im someone who is 40 suffering from chronic pain and a severe panic disorder..my addictive meds make me feel horrific everyday..panic and depression..I feel like Im dying but Im not. I see more life in these patients than I feel inside myself…I don't think death is the worst thing to face..I think living in agony and mental distress is. Death will be my peace and the end of my suffering..

  24. As my dear deceased Grandmother used to say "never spend a worry bout death! There can't be anything wrong with it! Everyone is doing it! Enjoy each day alive as fully as you can!" She lived until just beyond her 93rd birthday.

  25. I got my terminal diagnosis 5 years ago ago. At the time I was told average prognosis is 7-10 years. It doesn't change anything, not for me. Other than not having much quality of life, I agree with this guy. I don't feel like someone who's dying. I'm just a regular person who will probably die sooner than I normally would. Its what you make it

  26. "I used to run, with my friend a comedy night. She came in and played the violin at the start of each night and played The End by The Doors on violin and I fell in love."

  27. My son was diagnosed at 12 with a brain tumor that came back about a year and a half later. He fought for exactly three years and passed the Friday before Mother’s Day in 2012. He was 15. I wish I had known about these you tube videos on subjects like this. These might have helped him to feel less alone. He just wanted to go to school and be with his friends and have no worries about mortality. My Angel. I yearn for you. Always

  28. “There will come a time, when all of us are dead. All of us. There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything. There will be no one left to remember Aristotle or Cleopatra, let alone you. Everything that we did and built and wrote and thought and discovered will be forgotten and all of this will have been for naught. Maybe that time is coming soon and maybe it is millions of years away, but even if we survive the collapse of our sun, we will not survive forever. There was time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after." An excerpt from “The Fault in Our Stars”.

  29. The fear of dying is so universal, yet so unnecessary. When you think about it, you were dead for 14 billion years before you were born. You have been dead more than you have lived, by far. It’s pretty simple, if the afterlife actually exists, you will be pleasantly surprised. If the afterlife doesn’t exist, you will never know.

    Death makes life the wonder that it is. If we lived forever we wouldn’t value this precious life as much as we do. There is so much about death that we don’t know. Getting to glimpse behind the veil should be something we look forward to.

  30. Did anyone else think she was being kind of rude when she walked into Joe's home and made the comment about how many meds he had sitting on the counter? To me, that seemed kind of snobby in a way. I dunno, just my opinion.

  31. Even though I still go through all possibilities and have a rather negative attitude towards the end regarding All theories, something in my guts/ brain/ heart feels that the outcome will be "OK", even positive!
    Yeah, maybe our brain does have this programs, but they do have a purpose. Also we create new life, meaning that we throw New concsiousnesses into the Material universe. There is some slight "IT WILL BE ALRIGHT" feeling.
    Btw, I got more and more crises, the more people I listened to that topic and told me so many negative stuff… I rather stop sharing and discussing… It does not do me well

  32. Life is cruel in all aspects from the smallest protozoa to the biggest whale. Some things have a trouble free life, somethings do not. Who ever designed life on earth was not preocupied with eliminating suffering and pain. What ever the end goal is, if there is one, pain and suffering will be with us to the earths last breath.

  33. All my life I feared death taking the people I love away from me and not fearing my own death as much. And death has taken the people I love away from me over the years like my mom , aunt flo ,my grandpa, uncle Rick and grandma. Death taking people away hurts me the most.😢

  34. I died and they brought me back. I was terminal for 6 years. I am finally no longer terminal. I was a journalist/ editor, runner, animal activist. And my diagnosis was literally over night. I woke up and kept having edema and it got worse & worse. I was diagnosed with CKD. It changed my life forever! Mostly for the better, but some worse. Stress does literally kill people, I never believed that until it happened to me. Hopefully his wife can help him make it to a remission, you never know he could beat this!

  35. I too have massive anxiety of death, when I was little I saw my grandpa pass away from type 2 diabetes, two year later my aunty passed away suddenly in her sleep, on augest 1st 2012 my uncle passed away from falling asleep on the wheel then two years after that my 8 year old step brother died from a brain tumor. It's taken a heavy toll on me mentally everyday and it's opened my eyes on how precious life is and how it can end suddenly.

  36. One must have this understanding that when time is up time is up. There is point thinking about it all the time. Life is a struggle has always been and will always be. Graveyards do remind me that when time is up one comes to this city of the silent and stays there forever away from all the misery and hardship of daily living.

  37. In this case, Joe got married before his terminal diagnosis. If you already have a chronic and incurable cancer, would it be ethical to enter into a relationship or should you avoid relationships on the basis that you will inevitably be subjecting your partner to potentially years of worry followed by the inevitable pain and grief when you pass away?

  38. Hello! they would be so kind as to set up the video to be able to put the subtitles in different languages ​​to be able to see it with my 12 year old son who suffers the same as Leah … thanks

  39. What a beautiful soul this man and his wife are. I know this may not be proper considering what this video is about but this Leah Green, I have to say this, is one of the most beautiful woman, I have ever seen or heard. It would be so easy to fall completely in love with her voice, her smile, so much. Sorry with all do respect to this terminally ill man. Leah looks like heaven on earth.

  40. One day I thought felt like I was going to die. I remember looking up at the bright blue sky thinking I don't want to leave this world my home this way.
    I was in a little discomfort I don't think it was pain. Just an very uncomfortable feeling.

  41. I had stage 3 rectal cancer. I survived but I saw so many people dealing with death and death anxiety. It touched me deeply and now I take every day as a gift. It surprised me how much love there is surrounding us

  42. Update from Leah: Joe died on 27th December, less than two weeks after filming. He was with his parents and his wife. Thank you all for your lovely comments

  43. All along I though, girl needed a shrink. Her entire life is consumed with her fear of death and dying. How sad……

  44. Fun fact… or maybe not so fun. Is that everyone is on terminal diagnosis, we will all die and no one knows when and where and how, it could be tomorrow, it could be in 10 years or 50 years, no one knows, so we should enjoy every bit we have in life to the fullest and treat others the same way you would want to be treated.

  45. I think she needs to listen to some Alan Watts – “acceptance of Death”

    Then she will give up this morbid search in life!

  46. Enjoy each day as if it were your LAST cause you NEVER know when it will be! Joe was right about Cancer, I learned that lesson very quickly. Once you accept the fact that we have Cancer (Mine is very rare) nothing else bothers us.

  47. From London Brixton. UK. I was given 3 month to live, i too was diagnosed with aggressive cancer. I felt death. I cut out all processed food. I went raw vegan and juiced. I changed my mindset. While waiting 4 surgery. it reversed my cancer tumors. 52 tumours. All non cancerous. I refused chemo. So sad to hear he died. I am going to return to raw vegan. I will retrain to become a nurse. I am going to write a book.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *