Skip to main content

A week or two...

This morning diagnosis from FIL's Dr is that he might last another week or two. Kidney function is minimal. FIL is dying in the way most of us might have thought would be the best way to go, naturally.

I was talking to MIL about it yesterday though. Between us, we are of the opinion that it ISN'T necessarily the best way to go. In fact, there may not be a best way.

FIL is 86, he's lived a long life, and mostly it's been a very peaceful, joyful life. He had a battle with bowel cancer three years ago, but won it. Before that he hadn't had any major illnesses that I'm aware of. So, basically, his body is doing it's natural thing, it's winding down. At first the wind down was slow, but in the past six months it has picked up speed. A bout of shingles gave the wind down a kick up the rear earlier this year.

FIL will get to die peacefully at home, which is a blessing to him.

When we saw him yesterday, I hadn't seen him since his birthday in January. He was drifting in and out of sleep, and only had a very small window of lucidity right at the end of our visit, or so I thought. His eyes were wide open, and I'd brought Ari in to say goodbye as we were about to leave (of course, for Ari and myself it was our last goodbye, but I wasn't dwelling on that at the time). He acknowledged us, so I leaned over the bed and kissed him, and then as I was standing upright again, he asked me to pass him a towel from the other side of the room. I couldn't see a towel, which I thought was just my lack of vision, so I fetched MIL to find it. MIL then ascertained that FIL had thought he was being seen to by one of the visiting nurses, he thought he'd just had a wash down and needed the towel to dry off. Oh dear, he was probably wondering why the nurse kissed him, hahaha!

But anyway, he was so diminished, and it was quite a shock to me. FIL has always been quite the "have-a-chat", and yesterday he was so very, very quiet, and what little he did say was almost completely incomprehensible as he mumbled it.

So, dying naturally, slowly, is no less painful than dying suddenly.

I've been thinking back on my grandad dying a lot these past few weeks. I wasn't there for much of it as I was away studying, but right at the end I went and stayed with the family as we sat by his bed. I was there when he went into a coma and there when he took his last breathe, it was peaceful, but nonetheless painful.

I also remember my uncle Paul dying, on his 26th birthday, in a motorbike accident. The death was sudden, horrific and very much unexpected...

My other grandfather also died suddenly, but it wasn't unexpected, in many ways, that might have been the easiest way of dying I've witnessed, and it still wasn't easy.

I just can't see that there is an easy, painless way to die.


Juniper said…
((hugs)) Sif - so stressful when someone we love is about to die. All my love to Dave, his mum and your whole family ((Hugs))
Leah said…
The best death I've heard of is a 77 year old women who went swimming in the ocean of a morning, while walking her dogs. Had a heart attack and died instantly while her dogs stood vigil. Fast, active to the last, hopefully she had no fear and not "alone" but no family to see and suffer. If we all could be so lucky.

I guess in the end what is important is love and it is love that makes it so hard, it's beautiful and sad and beyond words really.
Nic said…
((Hugs)) to you and your family Sif.

Popular posts from this blog

The symbolism of elephants...

Just recently I've been seeing and noticing elephants everywhere!

A few weeks ago I saw the Samsung Elephant Ad, and watching that led me to watching a video with an elephant painting (seriously, you have to watch it to believe it!).

Then last night the boys told me they were having a free dress day at school to raise money for 'Mali the Elephant' - who turned out to be a paper maché statue which the children will paint and then show around the council before it comes back to the school to stand outside the performing arts room.

Then this morning I followed a link from Twitter to Toushka Lee's blog and read this post about an elephant orphanage in Sri Lanka.

This morning the Grumpy Old Man did another driving test and unfortunately didn't pass. We've booked his next test and are looking forward to that now. About ten minutes before he walked in the door I saw this poster on Facebook...

At the time, I didn't know if the Grumpy Old Man had been successful or …

Alone... And Stuff...

Do you ever just need to be alone?

As the boys are growing up, we have more times when the house is quiet. The youngest will be asleep. One will be reading, one will be playing on his computer with headphones on, one will be painting and there is stillness.

Sometimes, even that is not enough.

Sometimes I crave being alone, with no possibility of someone suddenly realising they have to tell me something important or ask me a question or even just crash about in the kitchen.

Sometimes I crave S P A C E, lots and lots of space, being able to walk from room to room without encountering another soul.

This is how I felt when I woke up this morning, so instead of getting ready for work, I decided to stay home. Get up, but not go anywhere, no hear the sound of my own voice, or anyone else's.

I think this might just be part of getting older. After a lifetime of chasing after other people and trying not to be alone, my mind and body is full of thoughts, experiences, feelings, and busy-ness …

12 Things Happy People Do Differently - a self-reflection...

A few days ago a Facebook friend posted the above poster on her wall. I believe she got these points from this blog which she enjoys reading, and the bloggers on the Marc and Angel Hack Life blog derived their discussion of these points from this book, available on Amazon - you're welcome! I have to admit, I haven't read the blog or the book I've just mentioned but wanted my readers to have access to the sources of the poster for their own reflective purposes.
The New Year will be upon us in but a few days and I thought this a great opportunity to do a little personal assessment on how I'm playing the happy game. I'm often not very happy at all - I don't need to be happy all the time, let me just say that up front - I personally believe that life is a balancing act and those who seek euphoria often will also often feel desolation because in all things there must be balance. The great riches of the few on this planet come at the personal cost of the many as is …