Sunday, November 28, 2004

Exit / Entry

After playing pointe guarde for the week while my parents "snow bird" and we have to cope with a hospital admission and discharge back to the nursing home....

My daughter says

"In just a year, my great grandmother has become an old person. I know she is 94 years old, but, it would have been easier if it had taken five or ten gradual years.

I’ve always been uncomfortable around old people. Old people were always out of it and kind of smelly and don’t really know where they are. They were always someone else’s old people.

My old people were always dynamic, dignified, fashionable, world changing people. I could always do volunteer work with those people and come home to where everyone was shining, spectacular and wise.

Well, okay, they ramble a bit. But, well, it’s history book stuff rambling.

I need a lot of hand-holding to cope with this. It’s not the way it’s supposed to be. She should have gotten old over a really long period of time. But, it’s just like she decided to get old and die. And she did all of that - except the dying part.

She got old. I don’t like that. That’s not what is supposed to happen."

And what am I supposed to say?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As a preference utilitarian I always ask "what would everyone else want"? But in this case I would ask myself is person-x ok with the way this has happened. If yes, then I refuse to feel sad or burdened. If not, then I'd allow myself to feel the sorrow I want to feel.

I know it sounds at the very least semi-stoic and maybe heartless, but it's what comes with the territory of being the one that people look to. Internally rational, logical, and, most importantly, the person everyone feels safe around.

But I have to ask this question: Would you like to live life to the fullest until her age and then hit complications, or would you prefer to live a normal life and slowly degrade from 60 to 94?

I'd choose to shave my head instead of cowering under a combover.