Day 059 – Melbourne, FL – Passing On
Today was hard.
My Uncle Pino was sleeping most of the morning with his CPAP mask on and communicated very little. He wasn’t able to speak, I think due to a dry throat, yesterday and wasn’t even trying to speak today, but he did open his eyes and nod his head.
Late in the morning his physicians assistant came in and asked to speak with us in a conference room and told us that my Uncle was nearing the end of his life and laid out two options – give him pain medication to ease his passing or invasive medical procedures to keep him going.
My Aunt chose the more difficult and I think loving path – to let her husband go after he spent many years fighting to be with her.
I say this because medical technology has increasingly gotten to the point where a life can be extended for a longer period of time than in the past so a decision has to actually be made to end a loved ones life by withholding technology that could extend it. It is an active, conscious decision to say goodbye instead of hiding behind technology and the attitude of – do everything possible for as long as possible so one doesn’t need to take responsibility for making the active decision.
I have very strong opinions about death and quality of life and conscious decision making about the two. Being with my family during this time has really brought it to the forefront of my mind.
I am very proud of my Aunt and Uncle and their strength, respect and love for one another.
It was moving to be amongst friends and loved ones in the room with as we said goodbye. There was praying, crying, embracing – of each other and of my Uncle as his monitor showed the slowing state of his vitals.
A little after 9:30 PM my Uncle left the earthly confines of his tired body and their was an outpouring of love and grief from all of us around him.
Goodbye Uncle Pino.
I feel very fortunate to have known you and to have spent this last week with you.