Monday, December 24, 2007

The Thoughts Of Those Left Behind

My recently started "list of things so difficult to decide about that I'd rather blow my head up" has gotten another post. The previous entries included items such as abortion, religious freedom, freedom of speech and capital punishment. The new item reads: euthanasia.

This isn't a woe-me post and I want no comments of the sort. Instead, it's a post about the enormous difficulties with euthanasia, from a strictly non-political, emotional standing.

Gramps and grandmother came to our place for Christmas dinner. Sometimes she's like a little kid, you can say; "Wouldn't you like more food?" and she'll agree, but if you'd said "You don't want more food, do you?" she'd agree with that too, and she's the kind of person who could do that on purpose, but you can't be sure that she's aware of doing it. The one thing she says that I really think comes from her heart, is that she's tired. She's tired of being a liability to others and herself, she's tired of not being able to think. Father spent most of Christmas helping her getting dressed, eating, walking from one chair to the other, talking to her, holding her hand. That's all you can do, and it's not enough, because whether she'll remember it tomorrow or not, she finds no real happiness in it anymore. And being so utterly powerless... It breaks my heart, but then what does it do to my father? It's his mother. I don't want to go all to personal, because I'm starting to scratch on other people's privacy here, but summing it up my father is the most loving person I ever met, but perhaps also the one it shows least on until you get to know him. He's seen things most people refrain from even trying to imagine, and it hardens him, but it also makes him more fragile, I think. Like hardened steel, y'know?

What would it do to my father if the option to end her suffering was in his head too?

And that, simply, is why I cannot, ever, wholeheartedly speak for euthanasia, even as my logical self believes in that it should be every man's right.


Rik said...

It's so like you to blog about euthenasia on Christmas eve, Iceye. Rather, you're the only one I know who could do that.

And I agree - it's one of those things where logic doesn't really help because logic and emotions clash. My grandfather was in a similar state for a year before he died - not mentally, but physically. I think it has something to do with the fact that the heart strives to feel alive, even when the mind has lost all sensible hope. So that, even in people who see no hope, they still have a drive of some sort, and we can feel that drive, we can somehow realise the emotional lifeforce which prevents us all from just spontaneously dying out of willpower loss.

If that made any sense? I dunno if I formulated that well.

Iceye said...

I thought about if it was proper on Christmas Eve and all. About three hours after I wrote it.

I think I understand what you mean. It's the weird thing with life. It's what makes that statement about "being a disease with 100% mortality" so true. With the stubbornness of a bacteria, it really hangs on. Did that make sense? Well, we understand each other, methinks.