Thursday, January 11, 2007

It is going to happen let's face it

We have an elderly couple near us that we have taken under our wing. Although I suppose we could be called elderly too being almost 69 and 60 respectively. This couple are a good bit older and my husband makes sure they have enough bags of pellets for the stove handy and generally looks out for them and we visit them about every ten days or so. Today we were planning to drop by and do some odd jobs but we had a panicky call from the husband saying his wife was going by ambulance to hospital as she is suffering from bronchitis, could we come tomorrow.

It sounds hard hearted of me I know, but I said to my husband "I know this is selfish but I hope we are not here if anything happens to either of them". That's not really true in that we will do all we can, but what is frustrating us is that they flatly refuse to make any sort of plan or accept that it is inevitable that one of them will be left behind. My husband has offered to make some modifications to their home so life will be easier for them, but no they like it that way, however should the husband die, his wife will be unable to do certain tasks and we are certain he will fall completely to pieces should she go first. When we have tried to bring up the subject of making even small preparations they just start to get upset and don't want to think about it.

We are very different, it is probably my strong practical streak, but we discuss how to make any changes now before we are not able to do it or have to pay for it or whatever. My husband makes sure I know how to turn on the furnace and other little necessaries and I make sure he knows where I put stuff and how the bills are paid etc. We constantly keep in mind that it is going to happen and we must not be morose about it or fearful but prepared. Of course one is never really ready emotionally but it seems down right careless to me not to make plans.

The other thing that always amazes me, especially as people get older, is that there had been no thought given to what happens after death, or any type of spiritual preparation made. I really can't believe that people genuinely believe that when they die it is all over. Mankind from the earliest time has sensed there is something more, and I think every person in his heart of hearts agrees. There is a placard outside the village of Burns Lake where we go shopping that says "Where will you be in eternity". Every religion points to an afterlife of some kind, I think this is built into us human beings, and even if one doesn't follow a particular religion surely one must wonder.


crpitt said...

They need to face facts! the sooner the better!
Growing up with mum going in and out of hospital i have had to prepare myself for the worse many times, thankfully she has come through each bad episode. With a weaker body but a stronger mind.
Death is something we have talked about a lot, funerals etc and how any would be able to cope with my dad!
I wouldn't say i believed in God but i do have a spiritual side.
My mum belongs to the methodist church. The people from the church are some of the nicest people i know and have provided mum with a lot of comfort.
Through them i have heard many stories like the one you have written about and seen a lot in hospital when visiting mum. They never turn out well, and its a very very sad situation but not much can be done. All i can say is keep on trying!

Leann said...

I had to see that mom made her plans before she left.she got every thing done thank God about a year and a half before it was needed.she went to be with Jesus nov 25th 2006.its never easy for people to get that part of life ready.but what is even sader is they dont do anything about their soul.about 12 years ago I sat down with mom and asked her if she was saved?she said she didnt know.I said well mom it says in the bible if you believe in and ask Jesus to for give you and come into your heart he will.she said she whated to do it so we did.she knew after that she was ready to leave here.and she would always tell us when we had to leave the hospital room to go home.Now dont you worry about me Jesus is with me.that was a blessing to know cause when she passed we hadnt gotten there in I know Jesus was there with her.and I know I will see her again.I will pray the Lord gives you wisdom to handle this.

Jeni said...

My Dad's sister is 89 years old and has a daughter, her only child, who is 50 and who is severely mentally and physically challenged. Until this past August, my aunt cared for the daughter, alone, at home. And, she would tell anyone who listened to her what her daily prayer was too - that her daughter die first, then her, five minutes later and then, the dog! (OK, she has her priorities with the dog -LOL there). And she sincerely believes God will adhere to her prayers. No arrangements were carved in stone as to what happen to my cousin if my aunt dies first and which in all probability will be the way things will go. While her faith is admirable, her love for her daughter is too, but it is so unrealistic too for one to think by closing your eyes to life and the way things usually go, that every thing will just fall into place. For my aunt and cousin, that has now been changed as they are both now in a nursing home, sharing a room. But that was not by choice, but by force and came from the state when it was determined it was not in their best interests to remain in the family homestead alone any longer.

Karen & Mike said...

Some people won't accept the changes that come with the aging process. I'm a gerontological nurse and see it all the time. One of the things that has hit home for me since moving to the Cariboo is that there are a huge number of people who came to retire in semi-remote areas when they were fit and healthy, had no contingency plan, and now years later have enormous health challenges, and find themselves essentially prisoners of their own isolation. It's caused us to think, and we're only in our forties.