on life, death and mercy....

hellonwheels's picture

and yes, this is a current situation going on in my life, guys, dad has been in the hospital in critical condition all week, and I just needed to vent a little bit, -hell

Man, it has been one hell of a week. My father is ill again, and it has been a heck of a roller-coaster ride. One second he's a second away from death, the next he's healthy and has a stable pulse. I guess all of the events of the past three days have just been a lot to take in and to think about.

My dad has always, for as long as I can remember, had a death wish. Whether is was rolling down the road @ 100 MPH on a harley, getting shot at in other countries, or doing something totally random and crazy, he has always been a little self dectructive in the time that I have known him.

For as long as I can remember, his medical issues all held the same issue for us. he had a DNR order, and he also had something saying to use comfort measures, instead of attempting to save his life.

Last night, my sister and I ignored this fact, in a way, out of our own selfish desires to see him alive for a little while longer.
and there in lies the problem. We did what we thought was right, as he was suffering, but we also blatently ignored what in our hearts we knew he would have wanted us to do.

While it has been good that he stabilized, his quality of life for the past few years has been terrible. Sleep, watch movies, and lay in bed all day. that's it. nothing else. and endless cycle of the same boring, old movies, the same talk, the same "how are you doing today papa?" that always ends in the same 4 answers.

He has not been able to speak in quite awhile, due to a stroke that may or may not have happened back when he was in kentucky when we were just kids, so we don't quite know the truth on that one...

all I know is, he hasn't spoken a clearly stated sentence in years. and tonight, though struggling to find the words, he did.

We couldn't quite make out some of the words at first, but were able to get a few out of it. He muttered one thing about a doctor first, then something about forgiving me, then something about his will.

It was hard to tell what he was trying to say, other than one clear message that came out- I always wanted my body over the water...in reference to him wanting his ashes spread into the sea and into the lake in glacier national park, his personal shagri-la.

He also began to mention me, and his will, and wanting me to be included in his will, which he had partially written me out of during a stint of not talking during high school.

He also muttered somethings about his father, and ''the club' to which i can only guess he was referring to the boozefighters, although in what capacity i may never know.

He went on to say he had seen the 'other-world' and jesus, and god. amazing, since he hasn't uttered a word in years other than titanic, my thing is in the laundry, and hello.

but all his jibber-jabber on god and seeing the other world last night has gotten me wondering...

Is there really a god? something else out there we are not meant to perceive until just before we go? I have often heard stories of people near their deathbeds, on death's doorstep, knockin' at the gates.

Maybe there is something to it...maybe these are just the delusions of an old, once conservative christian man? I don't know.

I mean, i have seen my share of death in my life, though I have only been around a few people as they died.
I remember hearing stories as a child from great aunt sara about her parioents, and being there with them when nobody else was, right @ the end.

I remember her telling me her thoughts on god, religion, and people's personal experiences they had shared w/ her as they came to the light.

Idk, but for chelsea and I , the question still lingers. Do we act now, and allow him the peace he has sought for so many years that he has suffered through? or do we stay here and treat him, and selfishly hold onto our father for a little while longer.

I am nor sure which is the right answer. I feel like last night, when His blood pressure was 44/21, that may have been the way to go.

but now, the antibiotics have stabilized him, bit for how long???

how long do we continue to draw this process out for? how long do we let him suffer?

At this rate, the infection is going to come back @ some point anyway.Why prolong the inevitable? There seems to be no logic in this paradox. I cannot come up w/ the right answer, though I feel in my heart that the right way to go is to let him have the peace that he has sought to find for so many years now.

He has always wanted to die, always held onto regrets, past happenings and places, people. he never forgave, just shriveled up over time into a beaten-down, bitter old man.

I guess one thing to take from this is to not dwell on your past- live in the here and now, not letting the petty things consume you.

I guess we will have to see when the morning comes.
just needed to vent a little bit.


elph's picture

You have taken on a very onerous burden

What you've written seems to suggest that your greatest service would be to tend to those needs of your dad that contribute to his physical and psychological comfort.

I'm assuming that his medical condition is being closely followed by doctors. I'd seek their advice on what you can or cannot do to provide maximum comfort for your dad.

oldfoxbob's picture

agreed with elph

What has the Dr said. What are the chances of his being well once again. You did not say what his prognosis is. I would talk to the Dr's and find out what it is and what his real chances are. If they are of the opinion that he has a good chance of recovery then by all means fight for him. See that he gets all the medical attention necessary to make him well as He is unable to make that decision at this time in his illness.

However If they are all in the opinion that there is little hope of ever recovering and that he will soon pass on. Then honor your fathers wishes. Grant him that last peace he wants. Make him comfortable with no pain, and let it be in Gods hands.

As far as the after life is when we are close to death we all have hope that the stories and bible are true. Of course we can never know until we ourselves experience it first hand. We can only trust in God and his wishes as he wants them to be. Some religions believe in reincarnation, some in heaven and an afterlife. Some believe that as long as some one remembers you, that you are immortal.
What ever the facts may be. We must believe in peace and harmony when we pass on. God is the one who makes that decision as to when we pass on. Of course as long as we believe we shall be saved the book says. It is obvious that your dad believes and as such shall be saved.
May the peace and knowledge of God ( who, or what every you think he or she or it is, ) be with you and comfort you in this time of need and hardship. God Bless!

Genius is not a sign of intelligence, but rather
that of common sense. Humor is the best pain pill.

jeff's picture


Afterlife or not, you don't want him staying in this one beyond his desire or ability to improve.

I'm not sure what deciding you are doing, if he has a living will and a DNR, all of that stuff should be defined in advance, and the hospital will do what that paperwork says, so that you don't have to make decisions along these lines.

That's the whole point of having that paperwork lined up.

"Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are." - Kurt Cobain

MacAvity's picture

My prayers go to you and

My prayers go to you and your father.