A Huffington Post article titled "Neil Armstrong's Death Draws Limited Television Coverage" following the death of the first man to walk on the Moon got me thinking about whether I'd like to go quickly or have a little "warning" (assuming I had any say in the matter at all, of course).
In the case of the Apollo 11 astronaut, Armstrong died unexpectedly August 25, 2012, following complications from cardiovascular procedures, surprising those "close to him" according to an article in The New York Times. I'm sure his sudden death left many of his surviving loved ones wishing they'd had time to say goodbye.
On the other hand, I watched my grandfather die from emphysema complications over five or six years. I'll never forget the long, thin clear-plastic hose that snaked from the tall oxygen tank to his grizzled-yet-gaunt face whenever I'd visit. While his impending death gave us time to say our goodbyes before finally receiving the phone call on a cold November 1982 evening informing us that "Fritz" had died, I think I'd prefer to go suddenly like Armstrong.
Would you rather die quickly, without warning, or over a longer period, so you can say goodbye to loved ones? And please explain your preference.