I write about my life and life itself seen through my eyes for who can write through the experiences of others if not their own?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Approaching the End

Usually when I hear that someone is sick or has died, I ask about their age. It is typical to feel sympathy for younger ones, children and even young parents. At what point, though, it is okay to die?

Now, as my elderly aunt faces a terminal illness, I see still in her the desire to live as she clings to hope and medicine in her fight for life.

Life is the most precious gift we have regardless of how we have lived it and we don’t want to end it not even for the promise of an after life or to end chronic pain. Are we ever ready?

I don’t think we are.

I always think of a death row inmate and how they fight to remain alive in the absence of quality of life – for the most part. The survival instinct that is part of our human complexity drives us to cling to life for what life has to offer, another day to wake up regardless of what that day brings.

Her desire to live saddens me more than her imminent absence. If only that end could come to her without fear, with no pain, with no fight for more, maybe then we could also accept it better.

Do we ever resign and embrace the end?

I wish we did. I wish at some point we could accept the end without the feelings of sadness that are plaguing us right now. But if we could, if it were that easy, then I feel that we would be disregarding the merit of her life.

90 years might be the end of her road. That just doesn’t seem long enough.