Tag Archives: dying

A Glimpse into Death and Dying:

In our culture, talking about death is unusual, yet it is part of everyone’s life. There are other subjects that are taboo, such as: religion, politics and sex. I shall leave those alone today, but would like to write a little about death.

Visiting a dying friend yesterday made me ponder on differences. J.is dying of cancer and has come to the stage where he is wanting to die. His wife is distraught and wants him to fight it.         J. wants to die at home. Z. wants him to go back to hospital where he’ll get further physiotherapy. All he wants is to give up and die at home. I can see how exhausting it is for Z. but am sad that she can’t accept that J.’s time has come.

This weekend the children will return home for a family conference. Z. wants them to encourage J. to return to hospital. There are services that can be organized to help Z. at home, but they are expensive. They are financially comfortable and this would be possible.

If I put myself in her shoes, would it be selfish to expect my partner to prolong his agony? One can’t step in another’s shoes. I just hope that I have the courage to face such a situation, if it were to happen, more selflessly, and vice versa.

Watching my mother die, I remember how tiring it was. I think it was the uncertainty of not knowing how long it would take, that I found most difficult. I loved her dearly, but didn’t want to see her suffer. I left the room when she talked to the doctor. I respected her decision to take control of how she ended her life, and she had a doctor who respected her wishes. I just wish Z. could find the courage to accept J.’s wishes too, and not fight to the bitter end.

I’m sure there are many of you who have had to deal with death in your own families. Never an easy thing. I’d be glad to hear from you  with your beliefs, experiences, if you want to share.

Knock, Knock, Knocking: reblog

Brenda Ann’s posts share her joy and common sense. This post is about her visit to her father when he nearly died. This reminded me of my own father’s excitement about his next stage of his journey, just before he died. It was comforting to know he was content and his attitude helped the rest of the family. I hope you enjoy Brenda Ann’s post.


pieces of me

heaven door

“This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.” Rumi

Life is all about change.  In our day to day world it is easy to forget that fact.  We go about our days thinking the same thoughts, doing the same things, slight variations of a constant stream of sameness.  It brings comfort and lulls us into a false sense of security.  We nestle into our routines and create a nice, comfortable illusion for ourselves.

But then something happens and that illusion is shattered.

Which brings us to last week.  Message received from Mom:  Dad is in the hospital with multiple pulmonary embolisms (emboli?) and while she ensures that everything is fine, I decide to hop a flight anyways, to see for myself. What, me worry?


He is…

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St. Lillian, Brenda and Mary


Chloris (died at 21) Lillian, Brenda, Front: Henry and Mary (taken 1920s?)

In 300 years, if you were to be named the patron saint of x, what would you like x to be? Place, activities, objects – all are fair game.  Ben Huberman.

This time I’d like to remember my aunt who died this week at the age of 97. She always appeared dignified and saintly. She was my Mother’s sister. Lillian was married to a Baptist minister and so she moved about, which meant meeting new people. This didn’t come easily to her, though she tried vigilantly to mix and be the perfect mother and minister’s wife.

Staying with this family when I was young, I do remember being reprimanded for calling my uncle a parsnip. (Close to parson, I thought). My older brother had the wooden spoon broken on his leg when he misbehaved. Later when they moved to Adelaide, their younger son was found on the front verandah of the Manse with their neighbour, a little girl, both nude and covered in texta. Lillian took them inside and popped them in the bath and tried to remove the incriminating evidence. It was no laughing matter.

Lillian’s saintliness was her dedication to communication. She wrote every week to her parents and siblings. Later, I became part of this ritual. Birthdays were always remembered and she’d knit jumpers for our off spring. My children remember her with great affection.

Having considered Lillian for a Saint-hood, I think her sisters would also qualify. Mary the youngest remains positive at 89 and has enjoyed being a grandmother to eight grandchildren who all adored her. Meeting up is always such an uplifting experience. Her life has been one of service and dedication to family.

My Mother died at the age of 84. She didn’t want to be a burden and would have hated being dependent. Her life, too, was one dedicated to family and service to the community. She was a people person and at her funeral I heard all sorts of stories about the people she had helped. The church over flowed with people that loved her. She would have loved to know that the same week her sister died she had a new great grand son. Perhaps she does!

St. Brenda will be there to welcome St. Lillian, and they’ll eventually be there for their youngest sister, St. Mary. Their lives were unacknowledged in the larger scheme of things, but they will remain saints to me.