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Teaching how to die (part 3)

The third and final interview with the palliative care specialist Ana Claudia Quintana Arantes, she talks about faith, different ways to experience time and about "the face" of death.
Ana Claudia Arantes: " I allow myself the unknown, I accept not knowing what comes next. Or if there is something…"
Ana Claudia Arantes: ” I allow myself the unknown, I accept not knowing what comes next. Or if there is something…”

Read here parts 1 & 2

The society doesn’t speak of death, it is now a taboo. You, in your work, live with it … tell us about death? If it were a character, what would it be like?
I say that death is the most loving character that exists. That death is the being, the entity that knows more about life. It knows what is important, what is not, what is true and what is not worth it. It helps us to do much more real choices. It is very generous and loving – with us and it has patience to wait for our time. If you listen to your death and pay attention to it, your life will make much more sense. Whether there is faith or not … whether there is a belief that there will be another life … I’ll be Ana Claudia once, have that spiritual existence once. This minute here will not change. It is over. I live my life in real time, I’m not editing it for a next time. Death is the best scene editing ever.

About the idea that there is something after death.. Do you have any opinion about it?

No I don’t have any. I allow myself the unknown, I accept not knowing what comes next. Or if there is something…

Would you say that being so close to death made you have more faith or, on the contrary, has it corrupted your ability to have faith?
I don’t follow any religion, but I think my faith increased. Faith is not being sure that what you want will happen, but that whatever it is, it will for the best, even if it is not what you want. For me faith is this. I will do my best and whatever happens will be for the best. If the best is dying, then it is what will happen.
You know that when I went to “Programa do Jô” (Jo Soares talk show) he asked me something like this… He finished the interview and was so sweet, he hugged me for a long time and asked me if he could make one more question. Then he asked, “How about God? Do you believe in God?”. Then I said “Oh, Jo, I believe in God, but if it does not exist I’m doing my part.” His eyes were filled with tears.

What was it like to be interviewed by Jô? It is an achievement to able to talk about a subject, which is such a taboo on TV.

You know that I thought it wouldn’t happen? I did a kind of pre interview with the show producers so that he would decide if he wanted to have this subject at his show. I said with all respect, that I thought it wouldn’t happen at that time because he had just lost his son. The person I talked to told me there would be a meeting and two days after she sent me a message saying she got it, but that I was right, it was hard to convince him. The interview was amazing but short because the show was already in the end. I got to give the “message” I wanted though.

[Click here  to see the interview – Ana Claudia at Programa do Jô]

What could we do in order to make our society see death in a different way?

I believe that promoting meetings to discuss about it, as you have done already, is a very cool way to address the subject. People who heard about the subject in such a kind way have been touched somehow, and when you are touched, you can touch others as well. People who are prepared to listen are the most likely to be transformed. There is a doctor who speaks like this: “talking about death is just like buying  a car insurance.” You don’t do it because you are sure you will crash. Is it bad luck insuring your car? No it isn’t. In the same way, you will not die tomorrow just because you talk about death.

Ana, for you, what is a soul?
Look at a body without a soul, a dead body, and you’ll know it.