Farewell to a beloved husband and father
Today I am in Idaho attending the memorial service of my father-in-law.
He passed away two weeks ago at the age of 85, after suffering for several years from declining health and increasing dementia. His wife of 59 years and all four of his children were at his bedside when he died.
Death is not pretty, but neither is childbirth. Both involve pain, fear and uncertainty. And hope. Hope that mother and baby are healthy at the end of the ordeal. Hope that the dying one finds peace and an end to physical … Continue reading
Living with joy
I am not obsessed with my death, but I am always aware that one day I will surely die. As a physician once said, “Life is 100% fatal.”
In the normal course of events, we don’t choose either the manner or time of our death, but I like to think that I might have some control over the final months, weeks, days of my life. (Unless I’m hit by a bus or something equally sudden.)
Perhaps my wish for control is in response to all the horrible, mercilessly-prolonged (and outrageously expensive) deaths I’ve witnessed in intensive … Continue reading
I am a child of the 70’s, and I remember the thrill of being able to stay up past my bedtime, on occasion, to watch The Mary Tyler Moore Show. So it was with sadness that I read the recent news that Valerie Harper, aka Mary’s best friend Rhoda, had been diagnosed with a rare and incurable form of brain cancer.
I watched her interviewed on television and was moved by her spirit, her humor, and her eloquence. “While you’re living, LIVE!” she entreats the audience.
In another post about end-of-life stuff, I quoted a doctor saying that … Continue reading
Disneyland, here I come!
I have a plan. If I get cancer (or when, because according to news reports just about everything causes cancer eventually) and my doctors have nothing left to offer but last-ditch, statistically-improbable treatments that cost a fortune, I’m saving my money and booking a suite at the Disneyland Hotel.
Last summer I read a blog post titled “How Doctors Die.” The author, a physician, made the simple statement that “Doctors don’t die like the rest of us.” Why? Because “they know enough about modern medicine to know its limits.”
He shares his and other health professionals’ … Continue reading