It was little over four years ago when my Dad passed away, Bev and I in close attendance as we'd moved into his home to ensure we were able to keep a promise that he'd die in his own bed, as Mum had done in Feb 2013. When Bev's father passed away it was, sadly, in a hospital ward (superbly cared for as is only possible by our NHS staff) - not a situation which allows for the intensity (Bev was there on her own!) of those final moments at a very personal level. Now we are very close to the end chapter with her Mum. Sunday lunch time had an ambulance crew summoned, by the carers, with the resultant decision that hospital was an unnecessary option under the circumstances. Denise's body is in shutdown mode, the stroke she's survived last weekend just a preliminary to a series of symptoms which will only have one result! Mid-day, today, another ambulance crew were called, as directed by the folk at the NHS 111 service, because we thought she was suffering a third heart attack. Ultimately the route we have to negotiate involves the medical professionals coming into our bungalow to administer the drugs (morphine) which ensure that Denise is not in any pain during this final act. Absolutely gutting to have to witness the demise of a loved one, Bev and I will come through this, as a couple, stronger because of the experience. How long have we got? I have absolutely no idea. Denise has been stubbornly fighting off every ailment thrown her way; she should be subject of a bloody t/v documentary! The hardest part of this whole process is the fact that the clearest memories will be those from the very last stages of life. My Mum lying. open mouthed, staring into nothingness, Dad, still warm, curled up like a young child, but smiling. How does that work? Some day, very soon, Bev will open the living room door to discover such a scene. If it were an animal involved you'd. rightly, be prosecuted for cruelty, but euthanasia is a criminal offence? How does this crazy situation still exist in a world where the God Squad have been found to be a complete fabrication? I'm 100% behind spirituality - the Holy Fairy Tale - stick it where the sun don''t shine! Both my parents were devout Christians and it was their faith that saw them face the final farewell without any regrets. Whilst I'm able to draw comfort from this knowledge, I can't buy into the concept of a supernatural power, with all encompassing knowledge, allowing atrocities to be perpetrated under the banner of faith? Homo sapiens will f*ck up the planet, they don't require a God to be anything other than the mighty dollar - elitist greed is more of a danger to our existence than anything Covid-19 threatens.
I've just re-read this, to find myself smiling at the intensity of my feelings and the fact that I've written the post without any influence beyond a personal level. When I was at school I resented any pressure to express myself, beyond that boundary of subject matter contained within the curriculum. If only I'd had the intelligence to recognise the gifts I was being given? My English teacher, at Halsey Secondary Modern, Hemel Hempstead, was Ms. Sue Llewellyn and only now am I able to recognise the incredible debt of gratitude owed. Mum and Dad were school teachers - she was an inspiration, if only I had the brains to see the gifts on offer. All I can say is that if ever "hindsight" appears on the curriculum options - grab it with both hands, it's an amazing thing!
Thinking of you both love and best wishes to you all.ReplyDelete
for me I consider my time experiencing the affections and love from your family a blessing. We have all been so lucky to have part of their walk of life.
We've come an awful long way since the Cole's Hill days of the early 1960's. The fact that we're still part of the same group of friends is testament to the strength of those bonds which were formed due to our parents. We are very lucky to have had such inspirational guidance!
Hoping all is well with you and Wendy - keep safe - Dyl (& Bev)
Dyl, I wasn't present at either of my parents passing. But when it happened, it had a kind of organised suddenness about it. Both had cancer and both ended up under the care of medical staff. Not sure about my father but my mother had certainly requested a final knock out drug. My father apparently was given a pain killer when feeling fine and promptly had a heart attack.ReplyDelete
I was phoned in the early hours by the hospital about this and when I phoned my mother she said, "I don't think there's any need to hurry!". Taken to a side room by the doctor, only then did I discover he'd gone.
The memory of my mother comforting a clearly upset doctor will stay with me forever. Always had the feeling she knew something. But she never said, and I never asked.
When she herself was in a hospice, she said one day, " Oh, 'X', is very good, he'll take care of me". I never met 'X'.
She was given pain killers with the same result as my father.
When my grand-mother was in her final days and clearly suffering, she said that if she had treated one of our animals like this (She was a diary farmers wife) she'd have been prosecuted. My mother was there and took note.
I like to think my parents had the final say in the matter.
Best wishes to You and Bev.
This horrible situation comes to us all with the passing of time. I think the hardest part to witness is the complete lack of dignity which the dying undergo before they step off this mortal coil. It is the fact that your memories of loved ones will be of those vivid final few months, with all the frailties exposed, which spoil a wonderful legacy.
Hoping that you & Bronwyn are keeping safe and well - Dyl