The program was a documentary of John Kennedy’s last four months of life. John Kennedy was a guy who suffered from dystrophic epidermolosis bulsoa which is a disease where big lumps of your skin fall off. So when he found out he was going to die, he just wanted to show everyone the last few months of his life and to help raise money for his charity. When I first heard what we were going to watch, it made me slightly uneasy, but seeing how Jonny coped with his disease amazed me and showed me if he can cope with his disease anybody can cope with anything. A documentary is something that I don’t often watch but I was very happy I had seen it.
In the opening sequence the first images shown of him are of when he was dead. This scared me a bit because this is the first time I have ever seen anybody dead. When I first saw the pictures of him I just did not know how he had coped for thirty six years. The film showed you the last four months of his life. In the fourth month it showed him going to order his coffin, in the third month it showed him meeting a celebrity. In the last month it showed him having final a house party where he could say goodbye to everyone and in the last few days it showed him going to 10 Downing Street, just before he died.
Jonny suffered from dystrophic epidermolsis bulsoa as I mentioned earlier. This disease causes the loss of skin. This was something that caused Jonny much pain but he just got on with it and tried to act as normally as possible. I think the most difficult thing for Jonny must have been meeting people; it must have been something he found extremely hard. If I had to look after somebody in that situation there is no way I could cope, it would just wreck my life and get me so depressed.
The impressions I got of Jonny’s family was that they must have been very calm and brave to do such a (good) job looking after him, apart from his father who left them when he was young. Jonny’s dad just could not cope with what was going on and just had to leave. After he left he never got in touch with Jonny again and the only time Jonny ever heard anything about him was after he had died. For his mum and his brother this meant they had to keep even closer together and the way they coped with that was amazing. Jonny’s mum had to do virtually everything for him and the way she coped, I could not believe it. The reasons for this were because Jonny was in such a bad state he could hardly do anything for himself.
Jonny seemed to be a man, who tried to forget what was wrong with him, and tried to live a normal life. Visiting so many places and people showed this because it proved he was not embarrassed to meet people, even though he looked different to other people.. Meeting Cherie Blair and Neil McAndrew was a big achievement for Jonny, but he just wanted to help his charity and make sure nobody else would suffer like him. The way Jonny was meeting people and visiting places was unbelievable.
Jonny chose to film the last four months of his life because he wanted to raise money for his charity and to show people the situation he was in. he did this by visiting famous people, who promised him they would donate to his fund.
In the first scenes of the program it showed him visiting the undertaker. I thought this was great the way he just went into the undertakers and told them what he wanted. The way he was talking about his funeral made me laugh, one of the things he said he wanted were baked bean tin labels on the side of his coffin. This was, because he wanted everybody to be looking at his coffin on the day of his funeral and be laughing and not feeling sorry for him.
I think I would be able to organise my own funeral, but I would be in no way as confident or as funny as Jonny was. I would make sure all my family would be coming and try to keep them all laughing. The song I would chose for my funeral would be “Simply the Best” by Tina Turner because it is a lively song and says what I am “Simply the Best”.
Jonny believed that there is life after death and there is a purpose for being alive, but he also said that there is not heaven after life. I think this sows you that what ever circumstance you are in there is a purpose for it and life is always worth living. My beliefs are that there is a purpose in life, but I also believe there is heaven after life.
The parts of the film, which showed Jonny dying, were very upsetting, but to see what he had done with the last weeks of his life made it much better, at least he had had the time to do something with his life. Overall I think it was the best for Jonny to pass away, the way he did and not suffer any more pain. I am very glad I got to see the film, but the first images of Jonny’s skin will probably stay with me for the rest of my life. The part I most enjoyed from the film was when Jonny visited the undertaker, the way he coped with it and how he made me laugh was great, he was so enthusiastic about it. His funeral was going to be like a birthday party to him. Overall Jonny was an unusually brave man.