Saturday, February 20, 2010

Dealing with death...

We are currently dealing with what appears to be the impending death of a family member. As of right now, the extended family is having serious discussions about DNRs and maintaining life through machines.

I feel more prepared for these discussions than most, because these are topics that I have seriously considered for myself, but most people have a strong aversion to considering end of life scenarios. They seem to have this almost superstitious idea that discussing it can make it happen. Regardless, it isn't my place to contribute anything to these current discussions more than as a sounding board for those who will be making a difficult set of decisions.

My wife is dealing with the imminent loss of a family member she feels very close to, in a way that is fairly unexpected and that she does not feel prepared to handle.

I'm dealing with feelings of being both a participant and an outsider looking in. I am just trying to fill the roll of a caring and understanding husband for a wife that is about to be going through a grieving period. This is not a role I've had to take on before.

The family as a whole is having to deal with the loss of a caregiver for her husband. It is raising questions about finding a proper home for a loving and intelligent, but also ill and dependent, member of the family.

The decisions that the family must make over the next few days will be difficult, and can potentially cause hard feelings if strong disagreements arise. I will be supportive of whatever decisions are made, regardless of whether they would have been the same decisions I'd have made in the same situation. My role is to be supportive and as helpful as possible, and to be there for my wife during this time of loss and sadness.

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