Between Birth and Death

The quality/quanity question.  This is a big one for my family…I think my dad was always depressed and on the verge of depression…he made no bones about the fact that he was ready to die when it was time.  As a young mother of two, I absolutely could not understand this mentality…after all, he had a daughter and two grandaughters..wasn’t that enough…

Flash over to the maternal side.  I have a mother and Aunt who absolutely didn’t/don’t want to die no matter what.  Speaking from my opinion only, my mother had a crappy life.  She was angry, bitter, totally alone and spent lots of energy faking it for everyone else so they would think she was a sweet little old lady.  worked some times?  But she did not want to die…quality be damned..it was quanity.

Aunt Frances is totally fighting it tonight.  She is a God fearing, bible thumping believer that does not want to die.  I’m not understanding this.  He and I just discussed tonight that I may be skewed…Perhaps I don’t hold life to a high enough value.  I do not want to die today…I’m not afraid to die, I’m just not done.  Aunt Frances has had at least one stroke, 4 seizures in the last 12 hours, she can’t talk for the most part, can’t move her left arm, she is in pain due to serious neurological problems with her back and legs…and the woman was able to say…I will get well.  What is this strength, what is this desire at 93 years old to climb the hill to health dragging along this body that no longer works…where does someone reach soooo far down and say…I will get well?

Should I be ashamed to want to chuck it all if I end up in her condition.  I am not understanding…is there something I am missing?

4 thoughts on “Between Birth and Death

  1. It’s the fight. There are some among us humans that enjoy the fight. We hate losing…even to death. I think you’re Mom and Aunt enjoy(ed) the fight. Death is the enemy to them rather than welcome relief. Submitting to death is morally equivalent to submitting to Satan.Others, like myself, prefer to set the rules for the fight before it starts. What rules you ask? A living will that specifically lays out when to keep me alive and when to let me go. Coma? Give me 2 weeks. If I don’t wake up; pull the plug. Stroke? No improvement in a month? Let me go. Cancer? If no improvement after treatment, give me pain drugs, cut the food and water..let me die. In any case, the main imperative is to make it known what your choices are and where the lines are drawn while you are still healthy. That way, when your time comes, your wishes will be honored. Whether you choose to fight like Aunt Francis or set rules for ending it like I did, individual choice has to be preserved. No government, no family member, no doctor or caregiver should be allowed to make that choice for you. The choice should be yours.Your Aunt wants to fight. Leave her to it. 

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  2. ‘nah, you’re just not there yet.  You’re still young and healthy, so how could you possible know what it’s like to be in her situation? Just because the body changes doesn’t mean your mind isn’t still your mind…

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  3. At 70, I can only tell you that as you get closer statistically to your mortality your feelings may change about how strongly you are willing to fight to stay here.  Personally, I put a lot of effort into improving and maintaining my health, but many of my friends do not.  However, I am not yet in deep discomfort physically so I don’t know what I will do then.

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  4. After all that she was able to say she will get well???? WOW!  If I should live to be 93 I suer hope that I have my mind and be able to function a little….if my mind is gone…..that just scares meHang in there!!!!

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