My closest friend for 12 years, shot himself on March 29th. I was devastated; but on reflection... I understand. He had Parkinson disease, and could only get worse; He couldn't live with his body any longer, and decided to end it, while he still could. I understand now.

Views: 97

Replies to This Discussion

What is wrong here is the "very ill people who have no relatives and spend their days alone in their rooms staring at the walls." Where are the staff who are paid to ensure this does not happen? No one should spend their last weeks / days / hours in such aloneness. I'm not naive - I know this happens. I'm saying it should not be happening - it costs nothing to sit with a person, hold a hand, give a smile. In my Mom's last weeks, days and hours, if that was all I could do for her, that's what I did for her. Sometimes there is nothing more we can do - but we can at least do that. No one should have to live out last hours thinking he or she might as well not have been there. That is another thing entirely - a whole other discussion.

Chris--I'll bet that NO nursing home has the staff to assign a person to do that, as lovely as it might be.

it happens.. one of the problems relative put their mother, father, whatever, in a nursing home and think their responibility is over, that the
"staff" with take care of them. It doesn't work that way. Most staff is over worked and don't do but bare  minimum. Family job is not over by putting someone in a nursing home. That's like sending your child to school and expecting the teachers to raise them.   If you have family in a nursing home, you should visit. It's not the staff they want to see, it's their loved ones. And you should see that they are properly taken care of, go on odd days and times, see that they are getting properly fed, kept clean, given proper medicine.and not stolen from. No wonder they turn into vegetables, with no conversation, or any one that cares.

Chris Jarvis said:
What is wrong here is the "very ill people who have no relatives and spend their days alone in their rooms staring at the walls." Where are the staff who are paid to ensure this does not happen? No one should spend their last weeks / days / hours in such aloneness. I'm not naive - I know this happens. I'm saying it should not be happening - it costs nothing to sit with a person, hold a hand, give a smile. In my Mom's last weeks, days and hours, if that was all I could do for her, that's what I did for her. Sometimes there is nothing more we can do - but we can at least do that. No one should have to live out last hours thinking he or she might as well not have been there. That is another thing entirely - a whole other discussion.
The reaction was similar here in Sweden. I believe that those who travelled to the clinic felt it was the best for them and that they where truly ready to say goodbye. Wish this option was open for those who are terminally ill here in Sweden as well.

Richard Davis said:
Hi I fully agree, there is a huge debate in the UK as a prorammed was aired on Monday night following someone who travelled to Switzerland to clinic which offers euthanasia. I have MS and from the day  O was given te diagnoses I have always maintained it is my right when to say I have had enough and exit with dignity.

Working in the mental health field I feel there is a line between suicide due to depression etc and assisting someone who is terminally ill in dying. When you are in the throws off a severe depression you are not able to find your way out yourself and as previously stated there should be other options. As far as those who due to TBI (traumatic brain injury) end up in a vetegative or permanent vegetative state the doctors know after a certain amount of time what hope there is for the individual to regain a good quality of life ...or not. I know for myself that if I where to end up in the hospital unable to breath for myself, my cognitive funtions more or less gone I would want someone to pull the plug. For me its about quality of life, not quantity.

I'm interested in the observation "I would want someone to pull the plug." For all we recognize an individual's right (I don't like that word but for the moment can't think of a replacement - do we have a "right" to anything?) - for all we accept that an individual should be allowed to direct the course of his or her own life, I think this is limited. Our freedom to swing our arms ends where the next person's nose begins.

If "someone" should pull the plug - who do we think that someone should be that has to spend the rest of his or her life living with being the one who pulled the plug on another human being? I couldn't do it - do the physical act that would result in another person being dead.

As I've mentioned earlier and elsewhere, my Mom died of "complications of Alzheimer's disease" as the coroner put it. Not for a second after her death would I have wished her life to continue in any degree of physical suffering. But I wouldn't have been able to end that life, either. There is remedy for physical suffering (that of course may result in earlier death) through medications. My Mom was not in a physical state that required medications.

If people take their own lives while they still have the physical capability to do so, that's one thing. But who should take on the responsibility of being the "executioner" for those who can no longer act for themselves? Even if people put it in writing that they are not to be kept alive by machines or other means? Upon whose shoulders and psyche would we wish that role?

Chris: How fortunate a mother to have a daughter such as you.

 

44 south

Wish I could scare up a daughter who would look after me in my "golden years" - lol. Unfortunately, I'm the last of my family, so I guess when it comes my time, I will have to depend on nursing home staff and/or government-provided in-home care. Not a pleasant picture, is it? But then, I have a friend who has 2 sons, and she doesn't count on either of them to look after her, and her husband has already told her "if something happens to you (meaning AD or the like) I won't look after you." Imagine being told that by your "other half!" So having a family is no guarantee of care, either.

That's what people should be discussing, if they want to turn things serious. Being looked after, and the future for us "oldies but goldies." My friend and I have decided when our time comes, we will go into "the home" together and give them a run for their money!

44 south said:

Chris: How fortunate a mother to have a daughter such as you.

 

44 south

God bless you, Chris. We are all of us so indebted to our mothers:

 

A child preparing to be born asked God,
“They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow, but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?”
God answered, “Among the many angels, I chose one for you. She will be waiting for you and will take care of you.”

The child paused and again addressed God. “But tell me, here in Heaven, I don’t do anything else but sing and smile, that’s enough for me to be happy.”
“Your angel will sing for you and also smile for you every day and you will feel your angel’s love and be happy,” God replied.

“Oh,” the child said, “and how am I going to be able to understand the language that men speak?” And then, glancing at God the child asked, “What am I going to do when I want to talk to you?”
God softly touched the child on the head and said, “Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray.”

The child then asked, “I have heard that on earth there is evil. Who will protect me?”
“Ah,” God answered, “your angel will defend you even if it means risking her own life.”

“But, I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore.”
“Your angel will always talk to you about me and will teach you the way for you to come back to me, even though I will always be next to you.” God said.

At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from earth could already be heard, and the child in a hurry asked softly, “Oh, God, if I am about to leave now, please tell me my angel’s name.”
Sweetly, God looked at the child and whispered, “Your angel’s name is of no importance.
You will simply call her MOM.”

~ Author Unknown ~

Thanks for this, south44. It's been a long walk over past months post-caregiving. That is my current rant, I guess - if you've invested time and emotion in the caregiving event - either as a "caregiver" in today's sense of looking after a parent or sibling or spouse with Alzheimer's or some such like, or as a parent of a child over the years of the child's life - then you know the whomp of emptiness their passing leaves. You do wander about a bit looking for your next assignment, so to speak. I can understand the empty-nesters whose children are grown and gone off to their own lives, leaving the parents behind in the dust.

Trick is to find the next assignment - once a caregiver, or parent, or otherwise responsible for someone's wellbeing, always a caregiver etc.

Well, I've started on my next assignment tiny step at a time. I've started a blog re the caregiver years, hoping I can help others just starting out (blog is at scribe2507.net). There is so much I wish I had known when I was going through that time - I wish life had come with an operator's manual! "Probably Alzheimer's - see you back in a year or so" hardly cuts it as an intro to the whole thing. Yet that's what we got from the neurologist in diagnosis days. Still rankles that I wasn't given an armful of information and referrals onward.

 

This discussion about right to die also has me thinking. About "rights" mostly. What "rights" do we have, actually, and who grants those "rights?" If we have a right to die, do we have an equal right to live, and what are we doing for people who struggle with that one?

As I said, in the beginning, I, like yourself, have been a caregiver for my spouse, who had Parkinson's, and who, after much suffering, took his own life.

He made the decision, and the choice of how, when and where, he would die, that most of us cannot.  If I had that decision for him, I would not have choosen death at that point. But, as he said, "You're not living in my body."  and yes, it has left my life very vacant.

Chris Jarvis said:

Thanks for this, south44. It's been a long walk over past months post-caregiving. That is my current rant, I guess - if you've invested time and emotion in the caregiving event - either as a "caregiver" in today's sense of looking after a parent or sibling or spouse with Alzheimer's or some such like, or as a parent of a child over the years of the child's life - then you know the whomp of emptiness their passing leaves. You do wander about a bit looking for your next assignment, so to speak. I can understand the empty-nesters whose children are grown and gone off to their own lives, leaving the parents behind in the dust.

Trick is to find the next assignment - once a caregiver, or parent, or otherwise responsible for someone's wellbeing, always a caregiver etc.

Well, I've started on my next assignment tiny step at a time. I've started a blog re the caregiver years, hoping I can help others just starting out (blog is at scribe2507.net). There is so much I wish I had known when I was going through that time - I wish life had come with an operator's manual! "Probably Alzheimer's - see you back in a year or so" hardly cuts it as an intro to the whole thing. Yet that's what we got from the neurologist in diagnosis days. Still rankles that I wasn't given an armful of information and referrals onward.

 

This discussion about right to die also has me thinking. About "rights" mostly. What "rights" do we have, actually, and who grants those "rights?" If we have a right to die, do we have an equal right to live, and what are we doing for people who struggle with that one?

Legendary Can Lit author Margaret Laurence ( A Jest of God, The Fire Dwellers, The Diviners) took her own life at age 67, having been diagnosed with throat cancer. So proud a Scottie was she, she wrote in her suicide note that she could never abide the spectacle of being pitied by people. She took a fatal overdose of barbituates. God Bless her soul.

RSS

Members

Community Activity

alexander Mollison commented on alexander Mollison's group The Kitties
"Send your Tuesdays "ONE"S doing the last of Christmas shopping in morning as Tuesday is going to be wet.laura52 antisipatin with a Christmas theme MM!!"
4 hours ago
alexander Mollison commented on alexander Mollison's group The Kitties
" thanks all and yes we love our computers."
5 hours ago
alexander Mollison commented on alexander Mollison's group The Kitties
"frozen let it go lights courtesy laura52 http://youtu.be/FX2d1LamXb0"
6 hours ago
alexander Mollison commented on alexander Mollison's group The Kitties
"Mondays kitties find the hidden "ONE" "
6 hours ago

© 2014   Part of the Zoomer Interactive Network.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

google-site-verification: googlef2bf84fe9dda65cb.html