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She didn’t wish that ending

By Kathy
Posted on

I had the conversation with my parent.

It is hard for me to tell this story without feeling resentment that my brother didn't understand my mother's wishes the same way I did.
 My mother had always shared with me that she didn’t want her life to be needlessly prolonged. She had had to keep her mother in a nursing home for 4 bedridden years after an auto accident. She didn’t wish that ending for herself. she insisted on living alone and 500 miles away from both her children so she wasn’t a burden.

At some point her tricks to convince us she was fine wore off and she admitted she hadn’t been to have her hair done for a few weeks. After I traveled to see her she stated that she had gotten lost on the way to the hairdressers. At that time I knew she needed to be given more care. My brother moved her by giving her a sleeping pill and putting her in his car. He then drove her the 500 miles to our community and she was placed in a care home in her own room. She was most unhappy.

Her doctor, a friend of my brother’s, prescribed medication that caused her blood pressure to sink rapidly upon standing or sitting. One night she got out of bed to go to the bathroom and fell to the floor where she was found the next morning. The care home refused to keep her after that and she was taken to a more restricted facility. At this facility the new care home’s doctor removed her from the Parkinson”s medication she had been on that caused the low blood pressure. But she had given up and didn’t wish to live any longer.

In March of her 89th year, 3 months before her 90th birthday she stopped eating or drinking. Her nurse said this was common and it would take a week to 10 days for her death wish to be completed. After 3 days my brother had her sent to the hospital to be rehydrated and she began her week over again. This time my brother let her wishes continue until she died in her sleep.

It is hard for me to tell this story without feeling resentment that my brother didn’t understand my mother’s wishes the same way I did. She did not want resuscitation or any heroic measures. She died and I felt as though I had failed her because my brother did not understand or comply with her wishes.

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