Monday, February 6, 2012

Death is ugly...

Today I had such a great conversation with a friend! I was telling them I was going to grief counseling tomorrow, and of course, the response was very positive. They asked me why I thought I needed the counseling, and what I hoped to achieve during the process. During the discussion that followed, an interesting spin on death and dying came up.

This is not going to be a pleasant read, so again, if you are squeamish.. walk away now!!

I was explaining how horrible Daddy's death was. I was warned by the nurses at Hospice, that COPD patients could be get quite ugly. They were not kidding in the least. I expected him to die like my Momma. Which was just to go to sleep and never wake up. That did not happen. Scott also warned me. He said "Baby, death is ugly". I still thought this was going to be nothing terrible.

For about 20 minutes, Daddy foamed at the mouth, because he could not cough up the mucus in his throat. He jerked, gasped, foamed, and fought us, the whole time. I mean he was jerking trying to get air, to get his throat clear so he could get air. His eyes were open, and rolled around in their sockets. His teeth clenched so hard, I thought they would shatter. All of this, was every cell in his body, trying to get air. Thank God, he was not there, in those eyes. We did the best we could, while waiting for the nurse to arrive. As soon as it was over, I closed his eyes, and completely lost it. I mean sobbing uncontrollably for about 10 minutes.

I couldn't believe what I had just witnessed. Scott was right. Death is ugly. While talking to my friend today, I said "We treat our animals better than we treat people, and I think that is so wrong." They agreed with me. I mean, we humanly put our dogs, cats, or whatever animals we have down, when their time comes. Not so, with people. I said, jokingly maybe Kevorkian had something there.

Why must we let our loved one suffer like that? You can not tell me, there is a way to ease those last moments of suffering. We should be able to do something.. to ease that pain for the patient and for the family. Is that inhumane? I do not think so. I think it is inhumane to let somebody suffer like that.

So, in a nutshell, that is my reasoning for counseling. I can not get that scene out of my mind. Over and over it plays, again and again. Maybe with some help, this will ease up for me. God, I hope so.

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