First off – don’t let the title scare you – it’s meant to catch your attention. I am fine. I’ve tried to write this post for weeks now. It is important that it be written and read by someone who may need just this at just this time or whenever they happen upon it.
My friend, Bill Hamilton of Dealing with COPD, posted a link to a film on his website about what it is like in the last days of COPD. I could not watch it until today. Not because I was busy, but because I didn’t have the guts and the courage and the strength to watch what my death will be like if I don’t die in a car crash or get hit by a bus. I have been diagnosed with COPD and am rated Severe, which is considered the third of four stages of COPD.
Below is the film, “A Good Death.” It is 30 minutes long. We, as a society, are not trained to look death in the eye and, when it is inevitable, to come to terms with it, to decide how we will meet it and on what terms we will meet Death. I initial cap, Death, deliberately. Based on our mythology, whether it be the guy in a cowl and robe with a scythe in his hand, beckoning you to come with him or, you see it as God’s Angels coming to take you to Him, or the fear you will die alone in your bed, at the hospital, at home or at hospice, we all have some idea of it, even if we don’t want to look our own death in the eye.
Sometimes, of even greater importance, our family and friends do not want to acknowledge it, not realizing how much harder that makes it on the person who is dying. That the little strength the person has left must go towards comforting others rather than drawing comfort from those around them.
From Bill’s site, commenting on his 3/2 “End of Reitrement” post – Dear Bill, bless you for your humor, your pugnacity and your “I told you so.” x 12 or what have you. Benze mentions the film, “A Good Death,” you posted a while back. I finally girded my loins to the sticking point and watched it – alone (not recommended for COPD’ers, but there I was.)
I instantly started a post to spread the word and then saved the draft. I don’t know if it is because I was told back in 2010 and worked my way through that diagnosis – “this is what you will die of” if I don’t get hit by a bus or whatever – I think I’ve accepted it and just keep on moving forward, knowing if a bad cold comes along, I could be hospitalized or poof, be gone. It’s a bit like a California earthquake – there is no warning, it just comes – yes, we can prepare, but then you get on with living as best you can.
I salute you and your getting on with living, Bill!
Bill’s post re Support – 3/8/2014 – my commentary – Dear Bill, what a timely post – not just for those who need support, but for those who give it. Most of us fall somewhere between the two, depending on the day. I remember reading or hearing that when you give something, whatever it might be, the payback will come, BUT, it may not come from the one to whom you gave it. It can be passed forward or backward, but it does come. What a miracle that is. LOL, hey, maybe I’ll do a post on this. Grin. As always, Bill, you leave one comforted and strengthened by your words. Best ~ HuntMode
Bill’s post re documentation of 3/15/14 – my commentary – Dear Bill, THANK YOU for this! I’ve been the one coming up from behind and even so, I’ve been slack on my own stuff – shame on me!
While you mention the Other, with a capital O indicating significant or wife or husband, it is even more important when you are single and a friend or relative has to come in and make heads or tails out of it. And, for crazier-making style, some of us are security conscious and don’t want to leave passwords out and about… Helen, above, described it perfectly…. gives me goosebumps. In my case, I’ve a dog and a cat – if it’s just a short stint, I’d want my pet sitters to come in as they already have a key, they know the “kids,” their feeding schedule, etc. – my friend who is my attorney in fact lives an hour away. I would not ask nor expect her to try to take care of the kids as well as everything else that would hit her shoulders. I have an agreement with my pet sitters, even though I’ve been unemployed and not having to use them for quite a while, that if they get a call, they’ll be there for my kids.
God bless you for this, Bill.
Best ~ HuntMode