The older we get, the more we get used to death walking right beside us. Perhaps it was always like that, we just didn’t dare to acknowledge it. When we are young, we demand the right to live our lives -and nothing is wrong with that and so for many years, the thought of dying is a disturbance.
By nature, death is for the older, sadly that doesn’t always work like it. Some of us seem to be smarter, and they live their life to the fullest from an early age on. It’s almost like they knew their lives would be cut short, so it seems to us, the ones who are left behind.
Death -right now I wish for you. Not for me but for a friend and neighbor, who bravely and courageously fought cancer for almost two years. She is a nurse; she knew she didn’t have a chance, yet she fought anyway.
Back then, the diagnosis was brutal and came so unexpected. Stage IV Pancreatic cancer, inoperable, it had already spread to her lungs. She is on Chemotherapy since October 2016 and her body has taken a serious beating and while she always seems to be upbeat and very optimistic, her eyes say otherwise.
Children and Grandchildren hope for the best, so does her husband, who can’t imagine a life without her. Watching from the sidelines I know she is hanging on by a thread, not because she wants too but for all the ones she loves.
Friday she went to the doctor and finally, they admitted that there is nothing they can do -perhaps there never was. We visited her on Saturday, we talked as always. My husband sat with other men in the man-cave. Women and kids were scattered throughout their house.
There was a moment when we were alone -just a group of friends. “They give me two months,” she said and we all took it in quietly. October, two months before Christmas, life has the tendency to be cruel at first sight. Hospice will come by on Monday already and they will talk about pain management, and she will make her own arrangements.
The living room will be emptied out, it will become her room for the time being. “I always hated that couch anyway,” she joked and we all laughed.
“I am so ready,” and we knew what she meant. I cannot imagine how she must feel. A part of me is relieved. At least now she knows she won’t have to suffer very much longer. While I might sound cruel when I write this, I hope she won’t have to make it for another eight weeks. I hope her heart will give up, or perhaps she will just drift away in her sleep.
“I hope she will make it to Christmas,” I hear someone say later and I bite my tongue. While I understand the wish and the love for a special Holiday, I wish us to be less selfish. Hope is a wonderful thing, but so is realism.
There comes a point when all our human inventions and our knowledge just prolongs death -not life. I wish we would be kinder to sickness and I wish we would finally allow the ones who suffer, to have a final say.
Death is a part of life and the older I get, the more I will get to know all about it.