Last night, a man who said he had 51 hours left to live took users’ questions on Reddit. “LucidEnding” wrote:
On Tuesday I’ll finally end my battle with cancer thanks to Oregon’s Death with dignity act. As part of my preparations I’ve ended my pain medication and am trying to regain what little dignity and clarity I can.
Who I was doesn’t matter. I’m in pain, I’m tired and I’m finally being granted a small shred of respect. Feel free to AMA if you’re so inclined.
But why would someone with so little time left spend it answering questions on Reddit?
The post got thousands of questions and comments from credulous users around the world, ranging from long personal stories to “any regrets?” (“Yes, one. I bought my high school sweetheart an engagement ring and never gave it to her.”) Q. “What’s your proudest moment?” A. “Finishing my masters degree, from a hospital bed.”
Not to be cynical but it does seem somewhat unlikely that someone so close to death would take to an Internet message board. However, it would also be supremely fucked up to pretend to be a dying person to fool a bunch of people on Reddit.
If you choose to believe it’s real, then the emotional pull is clear, even if the voyeuristic aspect of it makes me kind of squeamish. For a lighter kind of Reddit thread, check out this four-year-old answering questions via his dad (sample Q. “Magnets, how do they work?” A. “They get paper clips to come to you.”).