I’ve had a glimpse of how our society deals with death. I spent ten days with Dad in a wonderful hospice house. We spent the first half getting the pain meds out of his system, and the other half getting him strong enough so he could leave the place.
I spent many hours with him as cheerleader, advocate, and caregiver trainee. However, there were many hours where he slept, so I got to know everyone.
What impressed me most was how many workers and volunteers truly care about their mission. They are unsung, so I’m singing about them now.
However, there are also so many patients, mostly alone. They were waiting. Waiting to die.
Here’s the surprise. Some of them are done. As a gift to their children, they are content to hasten the process.
If you’re shocked, or sad, you should know that is how I felt. At first. When I listened to their stories it becomes obvious that many people are giving themselves up so that they are no longer a burden to their children.
It’s a wonderful gift. It’s their decision. And my only regret is that I’m not sure how many of those children appreciate that decision, that final gesture.
Creating a baby is only the first step to what will be a lifetime of joy. But there are so many hard hours ahead. Children who grow up tend to appreciate the gift of life given by their parents.
But the second greatest gift can be found at the end. It is the parent letting go, and letting their child be free of their burden. It’s sad to see them go, but it’s also a chance to celebrate their life and begin looking forward again.
To all those unsung parents who have sacrificed much during their lives, and then at the very end, life itself, for the benefit of their children, I thank you.
We should all thank them.
The best way to do that is to never forget them.
Mom and Dad.