Thursday, April 9, 2009

Goodbye Dear Alice

August 29, 1921-April 9, 2009

Alice passed away in a heavily sedated sleep, without pain. She did not believe in any god or an afterlife but when I quoted Khalil Gibran in one of my last conversations with her, it brought her momentary comfort. It comforts me to have shared that quote with her, when my own words failed.

Oh heart, if one should say to you that the soul perishes like the body, answer that the flower withers, but the seed remains.
~Kahlil Gibran

Monday, April 6, 2009

Update on Alice

To those of you who read my post from last week, thank you ever so much for your kind and thoughtful comments. They mean a lot to me. Even though losing close ones to death is part of life and none of us are sparred, it feels good to get some good words and the wishes they represent.

This process is grueling, especially for Alice but also for the entire family. WP's sister has been taking on the majority of Alice's care but we had to force her to go home and rest because she is falling apart. Emotionally, she is extremely fragile as it is and prone to drama, so it's been difficult trying to convince her that she doesn't need to martyr herself and allow the rest of us to help out. This is no easy task.

Alice is haning in there. She's refusing morphine because she feels too doped up. This doesn't surprise me because she has always been a person who has to stay in control of herself. For this I don't blame her and yet her agitation is so severe at times that the hospice nurse strongly suggested that we had to find a way to make her take it. That was early this morning and though I checked from work, I dont' yet have a full report.

All I can say is that from my point of view there are both pros and cons to dying at home. What Alice has longed spoken of to me over the five years I've known her (a period in which she mostly enjoyed good health and a very active lifestyle) is that she believed in euthanasea for the terminally ill. I agree with her and it would be my own first choice if I could access it. Without that option, I think that it would be a very hard decision for me to make. The care of a dying person takes more than one person and it's round-the-clock. It's also very worrysome. But for Alice there has never been any doubt that this is how she wants to go. The family is respecting that but it's time to get in more help and make some changes so that she's not so aggitated and awake and aware every couple of hours. It's agonizing to watch. But all of us are being very strong. WP's wonderful daughters have been a tremendous help and a comfort to their grandmother. I'm proud of my family.

I have to run. Thank you all for reading.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Music for Sunday #2

Won't say I love you babe
Won't say I need you babe
But, I'm gonna get you babe
And I will not do you wrong
Livin's mostly wastin' time
I waste my share of mine
But it never feels too good
So let's don't take too long
You're soft as glass
And I'm a gentle man
We got the sky to talk about
And the world to lie upon.

Days up and down they come
Like rain on a conga drum
Forget most, remember some
But don't turn none away
Everything is not enough
Nothin' is to much to bear
Where you been is good and gone
All you keep is the gettin' there
To live is to fly
Low and high
So shake the dust off of your wings
And the sleep out of your eyes

It's goodbye to all my friends
It's time to go again
Think on all the poetry
And the pickin' down the line
I'll miss the system here
The bottom's low and the treble's clear
But it don't pay to think to much
On things you leave behind
I may be gone
But it won't be long
I will be a-bringin' back the melody
And the rhythm that I find

We all got holes to fill
Them holes are all that's real
Some fall on you like a storm
Sometimes you dig your own
But choice is yours to make
And time is yours to take
Some dive into the sea
Some toil upon the stone
To live is to fly
Low and high,
So shake the dust off of your wings
And the sleep out of your eyes
So shake the dust off of your wings
And the tears out of your eyes
~ Townes Van Zandt

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