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End of Life Nightmare

Grass Valley Sunset

I feel like I am stuck in a Kafka novel. For those who were not tortured in school by the novels of Franz Kafka, he wrote about my worst nightmare – being stuck in something freaky because of unnecessary and bizarre rules and regulations. Merriam’s dictionary defines Kafkaesque as “of, relating to, or suggestive of Franz Kafka or his writings; having a nightmarishly complex, bizarre, or illogical quality.”

My Kafkaesque story is too long to write about in the detail it deserves, but here is the short version. My father and his wife have been dealing with serious cancers diagnoses.  We aren’t sure who will live longer. My father lost his balance and he grabbed onto my stepmother, taking both to the ground. As a result he has a broken back; she broke 3 ribs and her shoulder. He is in the hospital with multiple medical problems. My sister is taking care of my stepmother.

My father wants to die. His doctors confirm he is dying. Treatment has been stopped. In order for him to go into a hospice program, he has to have a place where he can receive hospice care, and the hospital won’t start it until we have this place. My stepmother has too much to dealing with and she isn’t ready for assisted living, so they have chosen to find him a skilled nursing facility. It means he will spend the rest of his precious life there. So, we are frantically looking for a place for him so he can receive hospice care. This seems so wrong.

What is my point? I have no idea. I was going to dive into a discussion on end-of-life planning, long term care insurance, and so on. I am not. What I most want to say is that life is precious and short. I intend to milk the most out of it. Wish I had something profound to say, but I don’t. I am going to go watch the sunset and say a prayer of gratitude for this glorious day.

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  • Lisa Johnson March 30, 2017, 3:11 PM

    The sunset and gratitude may lead to a thoughtful solution to the turmoil in your soul. I sincerely hope so, as the circumstances you’re dealing with seem overwhelming. As I have been telling my granddaughter, one minute, one hour, one day at a time even this will resolve in some way. Sending you love and support.

  • Jane March 30, 2017, 11:23 PM

    I’m sorry to read this. We do not do “end of life” well, I wish we approached it differently. My thoughts are with you and your family.

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