Wednesday, October 10, 2007

KB asked a hard one

KB asked a rather hard question about whether a person should be allowed to die with dignity.
Go read it.

I can only give life experiences to this one.

My aunt hadn’t been married for very long when she was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or better know as Lou Gehrig’s disease. She remarried after her first husband died from emphysema. Here is where those around her learned a valuable lesson in choosing a mate. We are going to spend the rest of our lives together in sickness and health someone, as we grow older, is most likely going to need to be taken care of and if that’s you then you’ll want that person to take good care of you.

This is a horrible disease. We all took a sigh of relief when the tests came back saying it wasn’t hereditary. It started with her becoming a bit wobbly then she quickly lost her ability to speak. This was a woman who could quote Shakespeare, never let us use the ain’t word, gave me the love for opera, even Puccini’s ;-}, and the Passion for the theater. She was a brilliant woman who loved playing Trivial Pursuit with passion, my husband always wanted her as a partner.
Watching this illness take her speech, ability to walk, then ability to move was agonizing for all of us. But even harder was what her husband was doing, he was hurting and neglecting her. Why not just take her out of the situation? She didn’t want to go.

This disease took her dignity. I refuse to give more detail than that.
If at any point in this she had expressed the want to die my family might have given it a huge amount of thought. She didn’t she held on hard and in her finial days she fought. We have no idea really why.

I only know that when my friend Caroline was dying she held on and hard. She called me one evening after I had put the kids to bed and asked me to walk over with some ice. I came without question, my husband, son and I had been doing things for her before she became ill and when asked we did what she wanted. I reset her machine and helped her to bed. We spent some time talking about her grandchildren and how she wanted to see the picture that she had taken with them if only they could fix the yellow. She was now very yellow because the cancer had taken over. She wanted that picture with her and she wanted to hold on until it was ready. I knew that she needed to be in a hospital that night but she didn’t want to go. I honestly think that she wanted that picture in her hand when she died in her home. I would have found her. Instead she was taken to the hospital the next day she died shortly after in the hospital without seeing the picture. I’d like to think that some how God made it happen for her.
I don’t think that taking the choice away from a person is the best idea I don’t know what my aunt was waiting for, one more I love you mom from her daughter, one more loved one to tell her it’s ok to let go.

I don’t think that I would ever have the right to take a life but I do think that I should have the right to make that choice for myself.

No easy answer no easy out.


Kansas Bob said...

What great stories Milly ... you helped start my day with a bit of inspiration!

Jimmy said...


Thanks for stopping my my blog and leaving a comment. Ya'll come back now, ya 'hear.

Bird said...

Wow, Milly, that's definitely something to think about.

harland said...

A good inspiring topic to think and discuss about. Let's Think over it