Friday, March 26, 2010
Death.....An outsider/insider/i dont know point of view.
This isn't really a question for me, just a question in general. In my line of work, I deal with the elderly. People who have lived 70, 80, 90 years and are ready to meet their maker, they're ready (usually long before their time) to let go, they've reconciled their past, their present, and have no burning desire to move into the future any more than they already have. They're WWII vets, Marine pilots, Naval Nurses, women who worked as riveters and steel workers while the men we off fighting on foreign soil. They've seen the advent of cars becoming commonplace, they've seen man walk on the moon, the microwave, and yes, the computer. They enjoy the simple goodness of a sunny afternoon and are grateful for things like a touch on the shoulder, a hug, and a moment of our time. They've lived amazing lives and they're ready to rest.....As an outsider looking in, I can handle their willingness to go "home".
By the same token, there are young ones that fight like fire. They're 50 somethings 60 somethings and they don't believe its their time and you can see their desire to move on, not to see Jesus, but to rehab, to go home, to make my workplace only a memory, I cant blame them either. But even if that never happens, compared to 6 years, compared to 26 years, heck even compared to 36 years, they've had a fair shake, right? wrong? How many years are enough? How long do you get to live before its fair that you pass away?
I follow Eva's blog on live journal (65 Red Roses) and I listen to (read) her comments, unrelenting "Eva don't give up!" "Eva we need you here!" "Eva just breathe!" and my heart goes out to her. I don't want her to die, I don't want anyone to die, she's too young...its not fair. But sometimes people just need to hear that if they need to let go, if they don't want to fight anymore, if they are tired, its okay....its okay to let go and we who are left behind will be okay somehow, somehow we will manage, day by day, moment by moment, we will find a way, even though we don't want to, we will find a way, even if that "way" is nothing more than opening our eyes. Being in my line of work, I deal with death quite frequently. It truly is a beautiful thing to watch the struggles and pain of this life disappear, no more pain, no more fight. Of course we cry for ourselves, we love our people, we are quite attached to them, they're part of our family, but removing ourselves from that, and looking at it from a medical perspective, it was time. It was okay to let go.
So is that the answer? When medically you've done everything that you can, is that when its okay to let go? what about before that? what if you just don't want to be tortured with tests and procedures anymore, you refuse treatment, you sign a DNR, then is it fair? then is it okay to let go?
My grandmother passed away 7 years ago and there is not a day that goes by that I don't wish that she was here with me, what would she say about certain things? I think about how much she would love Natalie's personality, how she would adore the young lady Caitlin is becoming. I would love for her to see the person that Ive become, I was so much different 7 years ago, I wish I could have made her proud when she was still here. Its not okay that she isn't here, Ive learned to live without, but its not okay.
The truth is that human nature tells us that its never okay, there will never be a time that we can view a death as a nonevent, it will always impact us negatively. Once we have lost someone close to us, we are never the same. So whether we fight for our loved one, we fight for a friend.....we will always fight, but we fight for ourselves. The terrible, gut wrenching, make you puke truth is that its only for ourselves that we fight, WE don't want to lose them, WE don't want to endure the pain, the change, because God knows, the ones we lose are better off than we are, there is no pain, no tears, no struggle, no fight, only peace. Isn't that what we all want? Peace for our loved ones who struggle, just peace.