Monday, January 31, 2011

Clinging to Life

My sister’s mother-in-law is dying.  M. has leukemia, is diabetic and also has a flesh-eating infection that is destroying her legs.  On Saturday, my sister, brother-in-law and their two kids drove to eastern Iowa to the hospital where M. is.  

Apparently, my brother-in-law’s father had not been reporting the situation accurately to convey how serious it is.  Fortunately, my b-in-law’s brother called to tell them how bad it is.  

They cannot amputate her legs.  She’s in terrible pain and on a lot of drugs to help alleviate that.  She was alert enough to talk with my niece and nephew on Saturday, but the doctors didn’t expect her to live through the night.

I meditated on Saturday evening and devoted it to loving-kindness for M. and for her family who is there with her.  It was what I could do.  She lived through the night.  I have not heard further news. 

At what point do we decide to withhold important information from our children because we don’t want to worry them and don’t want to burden them.  Where do you draw the line?  Why do we draw a line?  I will likely grow old.  I’ll probably have health issues of some kind or other.  I certainly will die at some point.  It remains to be seen how much my child will be involved in my life then.

I hope to have a grandchild someday.  I’d like to see my daughter age and have a life of her own.  I want to grow old with my husband and enjoy our life together.  Clinging, grasping, plotting, controlling, avoiding, fearing . . . Nothing guarantees that what I hope for and what I want will actually happen.

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