Three days of farewell
Thoughts on Life and Death. A few moments of the last few moments of a Great Man.
Death is exhausting. For all that has taken place, in this day and age its happening almost as smoothly as one could ever hope for. So many of us made the trip. His strong heart and his strong will are the reason he's still hanging on.
A hard working gentleman at the Helm of a large and loving family; those closest to him, said he said, he was ready to go. Years of ailments including several broken bones from a horse rearing and falling on him have taken a toll on his body temple.
After months ago not completely recovering from a spell of pnuemonia, his immune system is weak. Before he could recover from pnuemonia, somehow e.coli piled on.
He was moved to hospice and is there as I write this. Three days ago I received a text telling me he was fading fast. We probably shared less than 50 words between the two of us in his lifetime and 40 were probably from me. Somehow that factors into the tremendous respect I have for this man. It shows for certain that the power of example topples the power of words.
Day one for me at the hospice was the most difficult. Not difficult for me directly, but in particular, difficult was the energy. At the time I was unaware of the fact that he had declared that life had made him tired and he was in fact ready to go.
With the knowledge of the nearness of such technological breakthroughs in well being and longevity I wanted to share with everyone, my desire to help him through this and to not give in just yet. At 83 his heart, his grip and his will is strong. The e.coli it seemed was the major factor. With my own perspective of the awareness that most physicians more often take less than 4 months of nutritional education in there long journey toward a doctorate, I was naturally defensive toward the messenger; declaring my awareness and demanding a second opinion. After some time I had come to what was not quite an understanding but more of an acceptence of the situation. After all I was but a relative who was concerned and not one that had been with him through his apparently grueling previous 30 days.
I said my "see ya laters" and decided to check in with the family the next morning. Turns out he was still hanging in there but not quite as he was the previous day. I was sure he knew who I was the day before. Not so sure he could comprehend as much on day 2. More family and close friends stopped in throughout the day. Most of the same and a few were new. Phone calls were made to those close family and friends who were too far away to make the trip in time.
Day 3 proves he's not ready yet. We all decided that he was waiting for his son to make the four hour journey. We all gathered again to spend the majority of the day at hospice. It seemed to me he was better today than yesterday but not alert like the day before. More friends and family poured in. The Love and support is as awesome as I once remembered it as a child, when we would gather at his farm for family outings. Perhaps even more so. More than once the nurses had spoken about wishing that everyone had as much of a support system as he. It made us all very proud and confident that he is getting the best treatment possible. Its as if he wishes to live and I cannot help but wonder if in his inability to communicate he is unable to express this feeling to us.
Dr. Kevorkian had died two days earlier and so as you could expect the subject did come up. A few of us talked about the importance of being certain of your decisions before hand in case your unable to speak for yourself. We talked about and agreed that there was some logic and rightness somewhere in Kevorkians efforts. Whether it be someone who wishes to live as long as they may or someone who chooses not to suffer any longer, It all comes down to individual choice. Grieving is for the living. See you later Grandpop. Thank you. I love you.