My FOF friend Alicia’s 94-year-old mother lives in a nursing home in another state. Her mom is frail and was recently hospitalized for congestive heart failure. Alicia was taken aback when she learned her brother didn’t tell her about the incident. “What could you have done?” he asked. While Alicia helps out on the financial front, her brother lives near their mom, so he attends to her physical needs.
“I would have wanted to say a proper goodbye if something happened,” I told my brother. Their mother was in the hospital for two days and is now back in the home. Alicia is planning to visit her this weekend and take her for further medical evaluation. “My mother has told me she wants to keep living, as long as the quality of her life is decent,” Alicia said. “She still enjoys having her hair done and playing bridge. She enjoys her life.”
Alicia is determined to do everything she can to maintain her mother’s health. Her brother, however, feels their mother’s life is coming to a close and the best they can do is to keep her comfortable.
This is a heart-wrenching discussion that takes place among families across the country. Personally, I agree with Alicia. If my mom wasn’t ready to call it a day, and she wasn’t suffering, who am I to decide otherwise?