Saturday, August 11, 2007

Day Fourteen

Today is the fourteenth day since Dad was taken to the hospital with his first stroke. He is weaker, but still happy within the jumbled world of his damaged mind. He verbalizes, although little of it makes sense and none of it is directed to us; sometimes we understand that he's talking to people from his past, sometimes I recognize his words as being directed to mother, and sometimes he seems to be asking questions of people we can't identify. The words that we recognize comprise a very small part of his overall speech, though; most of it is noises and repeated syllables.

Dad still does not respond to any visual cues; he does not respond to verbal directions nor does he reply to questions (other than making noises and occasionally a word or two that are not responsive); his physical responses (squeezing hands, etc.) are random and undirected. I saw today that his right hand is begin to draw up, with the fingers curling inward toward the wrist below the base of the palm. His face appears more sallow and drawn, but that first evidenced itself two days ago, even before the living will was invoked.

I am certain that there should be a more peaceful, compassionate means of allowing a person to die with dignity. Once advanced directives are enacted, we should be able to afford the people we love with some means of completing those wishes other than the current barbaric system that seems hypocritically unsupportive of the dying and heartlessly cruel to those survivors who are tormented by the process.

I am hopeful that I will feel happy and content at some point in the future, when I know that Dad is reunited with Mom. Right now, though, I exist in a twilight that seems unending.

4 comments:

Paul & Donna Biggers said...

Cliff, Paul comes in each day after work and reads your posts on his brother. We both wish there was something to do to ease the pain in your heart.
I've witnessed loved ones who have battled so hard to live but eventually lost that battle. The only solace I could find when my dearest friend was near the end of her battle with Cancer was that her mind would wander......she would leave the reality of the envitable and go to a place of warmth and sunshine, in her mind she would be on the beach with her beloved parents who had passed before her...She was only 42 when she left this earth leaving behind two young sons. Maybe in someway God grants a little kindness in letting the mind wander..I have felt frustration and anger in dealing with loosing ones very dear to me....My sister's baby daughter had a cancerous brain tumor and after a long battle, and being lost in a coma...she left us at the age of almost 4.....I would pray so hard at first for her recovery, then for her to just not hurt....and I know this sounds crazy but evientually I prayed for her to go...when all hope was lost for anything else other than a vegetative state I prayed for the release of her soul to go....to fly.....
Our thoughts are with you, Donna and Paul Biggers

Doug said...

Mr. B, I didn't know about your father until today. I can't imagine what you're dealing with, but my heart and prayers are with your father, you and your family. God bless.

Anonymous said...

Cliff,
I read your comments each evening. I too, wish there was something I could do to ease your pain. It is so hard to watch a parent lie there and know there is nothing you can do to help him, I've been there. Just don't second guess yourself, you are doing what your dad wanted. My heart, my thoughts, my prayers are with all of you. Don is at a place between here and the sweet hereafter and for some reason he's holding on, why we don't know, only the Lord knows when Don will be called to his heavenly home to spend eternity with his beloved soulmate, your mother. I love you all, Aunt Martha

cliff said...

Thanks to all of you for your words of support; it makes a tremendous difference when I find myself feeling isolated in this ordeal.