Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wheel of life them continues. A friend's husbands father died today at 92 0r 93. he went to the clinic to have a broken arm Xrayed to see how well it was healing and died bery quickly of a heart attack on the XRay table. I know he will be missed and mourned, even having lived out his long life cycle. Still another friend has a dad in ICU with multiple organ failure - very critical.

These circumstances made me think about the recent words of another friend. On two different occasions she wrote "Horror always accompanies death." and "We are never ready to lose our parents." I don't think either of these things was true of me. Mama had been so lost in dementia and terror for so long - I was relieved she didn't have to quail from imagined FBI agents with guns anymore. She had been a proud beautiful woman and suffered painful indignities and total lostness in her dementia. I actually prayed that she would stop fearing death and walk into its arms. When she finally did, I closed her eyes and kissed her forehead, helped nurses wash and redress her, and pushed her gurney out to the hearse myself. Her passing seemd a relief. With Daddy it was different. He was himself up to the endand I did not see his death coming - but by the time he was suffereing multi organ failure after major heart surgery, it seemed clear his time had come. He saw it too. I miss him to this day, but I did feel ready - like it would have been pushing the river to wish he wouldn't die. And I was relieved that he held onto his mind - was working on physics theory the day his embolism started to leak - and wasn't ever forced to lose himself.

Even if I should die tonight, but especially if I live to a great age, I hope my family members feel no horror at my death and that, if my life cycle has been lived out, they do not feel it is impossible to be ready and accepting. My Aunt Toni, on her 80'th birthday (because I expressed fear of losing her to death) told me that she considered any further years gravy. She had a large serving of gravy, living into her nineties and dying an easy death while still in possession of her faculties. She tole me it was fine to miss her, but not to consider her death wrong in any way -that she had lived out her alotted years.

2 comments:

Peggy said...

What a thoughtful post on losing parents, Victoria.
I too felt it was time for my Mom. She lived to be 91 and the last months were difficult. She was quite lucid most of the time but the quality of her life for herself had clearly declined so much. The last couple of weeks I felt she was lost somewhere and even that was too long. I also knew at that age there would be no real coming back to any life thaqt she could enjoy. I too felt relief when her suffering was over.
It was different with Dad, who died suddenly of a heart attack when I was only 22 and he was only 54. That was a wrenching tearing loss for me and I miss him still.

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