i wish

happens so fast

happens so fast
Written by Cathoel Jorss,

Mum’s in hospital. Dad’s in hospital. Both in the same hospital and admitted on the same night. He has pneumonia, we think, and they’re waiting for the results of the PSA test on his prostate cancer this morning. If he has a heart attack, he told the doctor, he does not want to be revived. My mother ten minutes after Dad was carted off in the ambulance went downstairs to water the garden, tripped over her own pants leg, and broke her hip. My brother was trying to tend to both of them while they were two beds apart on the emergency ward and when Mum was wheeled off for her Xray, and Dad was wheeled up to the ward, he asked as they passed the doors of the Xray department, can’t we just open the door a crack? And let them say hello to each other.

The door was opened. They got to see each other and wish each other good luck. Dad’s doctor was doubtful he would make it through the night. Describing my parents saying hello through the Xray department door my brother broke down and sobbed. He kept saying, We need to talk about this as a family, we’re not ready to say goodbye yet! I said, this is very hard what you are doing. I wish I could be there to support you, and them. I’ve been tormented since I heard by the thought of them both being in such pain, and under the same roof, but separated. I said, even though it hurts us, I think it’s Dad’s own decision. It is his life and no one can keep him here if he is suffering. I described my friend who died last month, of euthanasia, when her quality of life became unbearable. Yes, said my brother very slowly. I know it might be very hard for you to do I said, and it’s asking a lot. But if you were able to find it in yourself – when Dad is awake and alert – to provide him with a calm enough conversational space so that he can clearly, plainly express his own wishes for his fate: I think it would be a truly loving service you could offer him. My brother said, I think he’ll want to hang on, for Mum. May 28th will be their fiftieth wedding anniversary. We’d imagined that I was the only one who wouldn’t be there, for that.

43 comments on “happens so fast

  1. Huge, x ‘oel. Thanks

    Peter Stuart McAdam May 6, 2016 at 3:40 am
  2. Life is so complicated…. at the beginning and at the end…. and it’s not so straightforward in the middle either. I wish all of you & your family strength and care.

    Jane May 6, 2016 at 11:37 am
  3. Oh Cathoel – so very hard, and even harder to hear second=hand.

    I had a visit to Brissie recently that was meant to be for one purpose and ended up visiting various relatives in various hospitals (my mother did try to circumvent that by directing the ambulance to the hospital my sister was at, but the specialist for some reason wanted her at HIS hospital) – so very frightening when we are facing being the oldest generation…

    jeanie May 6, 2016 at 1:51 pm
  4. Oh Cathoel,

    That is all so difficult to take in. I hope you are being kind to yourself throughout this difficult period, as well as giving your parents whatever support you can.

    Cynthia May 10, 2016 at 4:01 am
  5. Feeling for you all. It’s never the right time, even when it’s time. On a day just like today, any one of us…
    Certainly the Advanced Health Directive – you never know when it might be too late. Very best wishes and love xx

    Alison Lambert May 10, 2016 at 5:03 am
  6. I can’t find words. A hug, just a touch, would be worth more than any words, so please feel hugged.

    Russell May 10, 2016 at 3:16 pm
  7. Such a jarring time. I’ve had my parents playing tag, in and out of hospital for 18 months or more. There was a period in 2011 when they were both in hospital at the same time, at opposite ends of the Gold Coast. Fortunately, neither of them were in truly life threatening situations, but Dad was pretty bad. I was driving up from the far North coast of NSW to see them, so had that advantage. It must tear at your soul that this is happening half a world away. I wish you a measure of serenity to give your heart a rest. Take care of yourself, as well. I throw an ethereal hug your way.

    Brendan Kelly May 11, 2016 at 11:53 pm

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