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Earlier in the week, an incident with my mother got me thinking about her DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order.
The ambulance was transporting her to the hospital and I mentioned to them she had a DNR. They requested a copy of it, which is standard practice in order for it to be enforced. I gave it to them and off they went with me in tow following behind.
It got me thinking – what would’ve happened if I forgot to inform them and she went into cardiac arrest? Would they have given her CPR? If they had, and she was resuscitated how would I have reacted?
The first thought that came to mind was how pissed I would have been if she had died and they revived her. Unbelievable? Walk a mile in my shoes. That’s how I would have felt.
I mean seriously, my mother has suffered for close to five years. Death is her only way out.
She’s never going to get better; she’s never going to remember her past. She has zero quality of life. She’s stuck in this endless cycle of confusion, anxiety, aggression, sleep and child like behavior. Dying is going to be her only chance at peace, her only freedom.
And, it’s going to be my only chance at peace too. I’ve suffered right along with my mother for these last several years. I’ve watched her deteriorate, lose her memories, pee her pants, forget everyone she once loved and retrieve memories of years gone past.
I’ve listened to her mumblings, tried to decipher the gibberish, and wished for a respite from the craziness.
But is it wrong to want such a thing? I’m torn between the desire for an end and the guilt for even wanting it.
How could I want my mother to die? How could I wish for such a thing?
If the tables were turned, would she wish this for me?
I don’t know. I don’t know what the right answer is.
A part of me hates to see my mother live this way – if this can be called living. But a part of me dreads the day when she passes from this earth to another place and time.
I’m afraid mostly for the guilt I’m sure to feel. The guilt that will come from the relief of my suffering, with the realization I’m finally free.
Most people who read this won’t have a clue what I’m talking about. But I’m not writing it for them. I’m writing it for the countless people who will understand, deeply and profoundly understand because they live the same hell I do.
But mostly I’m writing it for myself in the hopes it will prepare me for the day when I have to wrestle these emotions and come to terms with my mother’s death and my guilt.
A spiritual adviser came into her room while I was writing this post. He asked me if we could pray and asked me what we should pray for. I said for a quick and peaceful passing.
It seemed ok to him, and so we bowed our heads and prayed.