Monday, October 14, 2013

When it is time to wish someone death for all the right reasons.

WOW, I haven’t written in a while. Have you ever wanted someone to die for all the right reasons? I bet that got your attention. Let me explain. My Mom is 86 years old and lives a miserable life as it is presented. She once was a business owner with lots of vim and vigor and a busy spirit. She was beloved by her friends and while being a private person managed to have some long term friendships. Then my dad died and her world changed. She continued her
business until it became impossible. She had outlived her Dad who died at 42 of heart disease. Because of modern medicine and surgeries she has doubled his life.

But back to reality. She has no life as I see it and if she were capable of seeing that, she would have done herself in. But now she wants to live to 100 so she says on any given day. It saddens me tremendously that she is bedridden and in pain. All her joints and body parts ache. Her feet are mangled like a Chinese Bound Woman’s feet (from wearing terrible shoes and surgeries gone awry).

She never wrote her desires but gave my sister and I full power over her health care. We are in the driver’s seat and my sister and I are in agreement to do nothing to help her live. She has caregivers who are wonderful people who put up with her mood swings and help her the best they can. She bites and pinches on occasion and they just are still so sweet to her. She has no bed sores and is well taken care of. Almost too well.

We have taken her off all meds and will not treat anymore for anything. As long as she asks to eat we will have her fed. She can’t see any more from cataracts that can’t be treated. She remembers my sister and me when we visit but mostly she sleeps. She goes out once a week to have her nails done and eat out. She no longer has her hair tinted more red than gray. Now she is all gray and this would bother her if she could see or knew this fact.

Funny about memory, it puts you in a state of pretend. My Mom lives in a fantasy world when she is not sleeping. She thinks she drives and is capable of everything. She is beginning to realize that this is not the truth. But if you ask her on any given day she is ready to die and then hopes to live to 100.

If you knew my Mom you would know this is not the life she wanted, ever. But, what is a daughter or in this case two daughters to do.  Absolutely nothing. We can love her and make sure she is comfortable and hope that her heart gives out or some other organ fails her. This is what we wish for every night for our Mom. Our real Mom left long ago and her shell remains strong due to all the meds and surgeries she was given to live longer than her Dad. She has done that and now for the last 10 years she has been slowing declining but still alive in a body that long ago gave out.

I took two of her great grandkids to see her and she wouldn’t wake up from her nap. As we tried to let her know they were there she yelled and was mad we were trying to wake her. She tried to open her eyes but they refused to help. She would be so pissed to have done that to them. We left after 15 minutes of trying. As we were leaving my 9 year old grandson said to me,”grammie that is no way to live” and I agreed with him. I told him sometimes we now live too long. He felt bad and hoped that didn’t happen to me. I told him not to worry it won’t and we stopped the conversation there. I have plans in place, I have signed and dotted every t. I have friends who will help and if they have to drive me to Oregon and drop me off on the street so be it. We should be allowed to die when ready. It is finding that balance when it happens to you and you can still make the decision to end your own life.

I understand if some people don’t agree, but like every decision it must be our own if we are capable. Otherwise the person we have appointed as our person in charge must make hard choices. My Mom did that and we are trying to help her with her time left on earth. We will not let her suffer and we will use no gallant measures to save her, under any condition. She wants us to be in charge and we are committed to that charge.  


  1. You and your sister are doing the very best for your mother. It is a lesson to all of us to make sure your wishes are written down completely. These are difficult choices but ones that are really done for ones family and caregivers. It is not always easy to leave this world. Aren't children so wise?

  2. Thanks Valerie for your thoughtful words as always.

  3. Your mom has 2 amazing daughters and is very fortunate.
    I lost my dad when I was 11 and he was 53 so that was not an issue.
    My mom died when I was 28, she was 70 and died of Colon cancer...a very hard year.
    I feel your pain in your words, and know there are tears in your eyes.

  4. Thank you anonymous. I am sorry you lost your Dad when you were 11 and your Mom too at a young age.

  5. Oh Madge. I know this can't be easy but you and your sister are amazing daughters who are making tough choices. So glad you have each other.

  6. Thanks Barb for your lovely comments.

  7. You're brave for writing this, Madge.

    These choices are incredibly difficult. And at the same time, I believe, deeply personal. The medical industrial complex would love for all of us to go to any and all extremes to keep every person breathing as long as possible. But as we all know, that's not always what's best. Glad you and your sister are able to come together to a unanimous decision on this.

    And - you know my story, and I quietly wish the peace of the afterlife for my mom most days too. :/

  8. Thanks Anna for your kind thoughts. We both know what it takes to be daughter with Mom's who need help in very different ways.

  9. Difficult choices, Madge. I'm glad she has you and your sister. Bless you.

  10. I am so sorry to hear your mother is in so much pain and has such a low quality of life. I agree completely that humans should be able to end their lives when ready. We put down dogs to put them out of their misery; why do we treat animals more humanely than humans? The conflict with your mother, as I see it, is that she is conflicted; part of her wants to die now, but part of her wants to live to 100. Another 14 years is a long way to go, but if she desires to live, she is blessed to live. If she desires to die, then she should have that right.

  11. I am so sorry to hear that your mother is suffering so, Madge. We put down animals when they are sick; why do we treat humans less humanely? The problem, as I see it, is that your mother is conflicted; part of her is ready to go, but part of her wants to live to 100. If she is ready, she should have the choice. If she wants to live to 100, though, God bless her!

  12. Pearl the sad part is she is not in her right mind to make the choice anymore. So all we can do is wait. She does have a DNR in place.Thanks for commenting.