Friday, February 22, 2013
Life In Confusion
Often, the people who really suffer in dementia cases are the loved ones. I know we did. It is very hard to see your formerly vibrant and interactive mother, father, uncle, spouse, so ill and vulnerable. But they are not without dignity–unless we so define them.
Yes indeed, for Baby Boomers, it is always about us.As I write my mother is in year five of severe dementia. Unlike most, we have a marker. The auto accident that killed my father moved my mother from "a little confused" to "lost." It hurts - a lot. But here is the thing - so does child rearing. I cannot begin to imagine the pain I must have caused her and dad. Is it too much to ask that I consider her more than I consider myself as decisions are made about her care?
There are two ways to look at my mother - a mindless eating and pooping machine requiring constant attention - or - a living human of diminished capacity. Why is it we lavish love on babies who are also eating and pooping machines, why is it we work hard to care for those of diminished capacity not old, but when the diminished capacity is the road to certain death, we throw them in the warehouse and pray for a quick death.
You either value life or you do not. Even within the range of "normal" some lives are more worthy than others. As soon as we start making decisions based on whose life is better, or more worthy we place ourselves in God's place - we blaspheme in a very real fashion. It is a sin, pure and simple.
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