DEATH AND DIGNITY

Death comes to us all, how it comes is another thing.  I am not afraid of Death I am worried as to how I may die.  Having had Double Pneumonia as a Baby and being prone to Bronchitis I worry that my end may be the dreaded Pneumonia and struggling for breath at the end frightens me, I have bad memories of watching someone suffer with great dignity struggling for every breath.  My only hope is that having Heart Failure my Heart may give out and that will save me, but who knows what my end will be.

Death as I say will come and we will all have to face it.  I never, as ridiculous as it sounds expected my Father to die, for me He would live forever.  When he became ill I didn’t want to see it I didn’t want to be told about it.  I was Married a few years and still very immature and not prepared for what was to come.  Hospital and Daddy in there was an absolute nightmare, I saw the way he was neglected ignored and it made me so angry.  To the point on one visit my Father was very very upset, he had wet the bed, he told us that he had called and called for help but was ignored and on one occasion told to get out of bed and go to the toilet, after he had been told never to get out of bed, he tried and fell and other patients helped him back into bed.  When I was told this I hit the roof I saw the Sister asked how about the incident she walked away and into a room, my Husband told me to leave it, but I would not I knocked on this room door opened it to see the Sister and some Nurses sitting there eating cream cakes, I shouted at the Sister and she ran into another room and locked the door.  I told my Mother to get Daddy out of Barking Hospital.

We did and took him home, we took him home to die with some dignity.  I can’t for the life of me remember how long we had him home, so much just washed over my head.  But, I remember the night my Husband and myself slept on the floor of my Parents Living room floor to watch over Daddy as he slept in that room.  That whole night I listened and watched as he fought for every breath the noises I can still hear.  I am lapse Catholic but I still believe in God and I still believe in Heaven, for me there has to be something better than what this life has been.  So I asked God to take Daddy not to let him suffer anymore, it was awful that whole long long night listening to my Father dying.

As my Father died, I heard this terrible noise come from his throat, my Husband told me it was the Death Rattle, I begged him never let me die like that.   Daddy died and he was at Peace.  Finally there was no more suffering.  I still cry for Daddy to this day.

Who do we cry for?  We convince ourselves we are crying for our Loved one, but they are gone and if you are a believer in whatever God you do, you know that our loved one is now at peace.  We cry remembering better times, but perhaps mostly we cry for ourselves.

I am always amazed at the dignity and the courage of those that face death, those that know they are going to die those that pretend they don’t know to save their loved ones.  The lies we tell “don’t tell your Father Mrs Cottage” I was told when I said my Father knew he was going to die we should talk to him, the Doctors forbid it as did my Mother, it was so stupid because my Father knew.  The same thing happened when my own Husband faced death “don’t tell him” I was told, David knew and he knew I knew but we never said and I regret to this day we never discussed that he was going to die.  I prepared my two young Sons as best I could being 100% honest with them, the youngest 10 years of age faced it so bravely, my eldest Son 15 at the time broke down, but both Boys held their Father’s hands as he died, I remember how David would look into the eyes of his Sons, it broke my heart.

The hardest thing in the World is to let go, to look in the eyes of the person you love knowing you have to let go, but the courage of your loved one the courage they have knowing any day death will come, that will remain with you.

Then there is the shock the most dreadful shock when your loved one dies and you are not there, and there is that knock on the door you open and instinct tells you.  Your loved one walked out of your house but never comes back, that shock I can’t imagine what it must be like.   The death of a Child I don’t know how a parent copes, I have never been in that situation, the strength required to cope where does it come from, your faith if you believe?

Then there is death that people do not understand they call it selfish.  Selfish? To take one’s life, who are we to condemn.  For whatever reason that person chose that time to take their own life it was their choice, maybe their mind was unbalanced at the time, who are we to question.  To take one’s life I believe is not cowardice it takes courage a lot of courage.  Don’t condemn, try and understand.  Think, have you ever been in a situation where you felt so low, so depressed.  Up against “that wall” trying to climb over “that wall”, feeling there was nothing else left but to take one’s life.  Maybe they needed booze to help them on their way maybe they needed drugs to help.  I believe if a person is determined to take their life they will.    “There for the grace of God go I”.

What I have not mentioned is those that decide to take their life via injection, because of illness.  People are prepared to fly to another Country in order to end their life from the pain they are in, their immediate loved one’s can say “goodbye”.  The person dies painlessly and with dignity and peace, is that so wrong is it?

 

I know if I can afford it that is how I would like to end my life, an injection and with dignity and peace.  I have told my two Sons, that God forbid I was ever hospitalized and I was in a coma or the Doctors are trying to resuscitate.  Do Not let them, I do not want to end up left to rot, I do not want my Sons to see me like that I want my Sons to remember me as I was good or bad.

I try to talk to my Sons now about Death they know I am to be Cremated and my ashes scattered with my dog, but they listen but don’t answer me when I tell them they have to face I will not be here one day. They are grown Men but still my Sons and I worry about them always will I worry how they will cope, yet deep down I know they will.   They still live at home, have their privacy, we meet at Dinner.  One good thing as Brothers they are close, they argue as Brothers do but not often and my youngest Son is very good very generous to his older Brother.  I know they will take care of each other, I hope they will make a good life for themselves.

But sooner or later my Sons must face the fact I will die, I have less years ahead than I have behind, I hope Death will be kind I hope I die with dignity.  I have to take a lot of medication and sometimes we have too much, but never throw it away, perhaps in the mind its being kept for another time to use.  One thing I do know, others can dispute it thats up to them, but I know that God will be there at the end and I pray that He will feel I am good enough to go to Heaven.

I don’t want my Sons to weep for me, I will be gone my Soul will have left all that is left is the body I lived in.  I have told my Sons to open a bottle of Champagne after the Funeral, if there is one,  toast me and smile and laugh at the stupid things I would say and remember me always with a smile and LIVE THEIR LIVES AND ENJOY LIFE.

===========================================================================

 

 

DON’T BE SAD

 

Do not weep or cry for me

for I am elsewhere

in the Peaceful Garden

Where I always wished to be

 

Where the Birds fly

where the Sky stays blue

where the Stars at night

will shine

 

Do not cry for me

dry your tears

and smile

for I am happy

and at Peace

 

The Sky at night

remember how I would watch

and count the Stars

and show you

the brightest Star

 

Remember thats the Star

thats Me

who loves you so

the Star alone

the brightest Star

 

So do not weep for me

dry your tears and smile

and look to the Sky

and the Birds that fly

that is Me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wonderful Henry Mancini  “The Shadow of your Smile”

 

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3 thoughts on “DEATH AND DIGNITY

  1. good frank discussion about death Anna, well done, we all need to do it! You don’t cry for your father, you cry for your own loss .. he is in a far better place. Great poem

    Palliative care, like medicine, improves every single day so that nobody needs to die with pain or breathlessness … that can all be adequately medicated if reported accurately. The death rattle is frightening for most people but it is usually brief and the person dying is completely unaware/oblivious to it. It is those close who suffer at that point …

    Personally I have a long list of how I don’t want to die but there are no assurances, but I do prefer to die naturally with no extensive measures to save or end my life .. natural is healthier for our spirit or soul to exit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Kate. You are totally right about my Father, he is in a far better place. I hated going to the Cemetery every week with my Mother when Daddy died, its not what he would have wanted, but she felt he was there, I never did. From the day my Father died my Mother wanted to be buried next to him, and as a Catholic of course she would. My so called sister said my mother had asked to be cremated, such lies unbelievable, my sister still has her ashes (so she thinks) my mother had paid for a double plot for Daddy and herself. Death can bring so many long lasting arguments.

      When David my Husband died I had said to the Dr I did not want my Sons to hear the Death Rattle, and my Dr assured me the injection he was going to give David to ease his discomfort would prevent that. David had the most peaceful ending. I am not scared of Death and what happens after, I am worried how I die. None of us know Kate what may lay ahead.

      Liked by 1 person

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