Monday, March 02, 2009

I Hate It When

I am running around in my home office this morning having phone meetings and getting ready to leave for a round of other meetings.

Running in the background is the "Today Show." As I walked into the kitchen, I noticed they were running a segment on a woman who had been in a coma and just as her husband was about to remove the life support (with all of the children there for a last visit) she awoke.

I am happy for this family = they are a young family with lots of children. Life is precious.

Forever there will be times, when those of us who made the decision to remove life supports from our loved one, will question that action. It is the question that eternally returns to haunt one. I know that Tom's brain damage was immense - the MRI showed a massive void from below his right ear to the top of his skull - the very top slice of the MRI had an infarct. It was objective data that I looked at least a dozen times before making that hardest of all decisions.

Even though I had that objective data, I cannot help but wonder for a second this morning - "did I do the right thing?" It is a stab in the heart, an ache in my gut, a little fissure in my soul.


  1. I can understand how you'd feel that way but I think you did the right thing. You loved him and you did what you felt he would have wanted. Nobody can do more than that. It really was unselfish because selfishly you might have wanted him with you in whatever condition. Believing as I do in soul connections, I think even then he guided you for what you needed to do. Each case is different and maybe in another situation it would be a different answer that would be right but you can only look at your own. And I sincerely believe you did what was meant to be.

  2. ((( Suzann )))

    I hate it, too, Suzann.

    However, I don't find myself questioning whether or not I made the right decision. Rather, I get so angry that they got the miracle and we did not. Why them? Why not us?

    Hugs through the pain...

  3. Thanks - I know it was the right thing - the first thought when those things make the news is: would there have been a different outcome, the "miracle" if I had waited longer. It is a moot point and one I truly believe is NO! You are right Alicia, I wish Tom and I had of had that miracle. Thanks for listening.

  4. I certainly can understand those feelings Suzann....The only thing you can do to is try to see what would Tom's life have been had you not done that.
    I don't know the situation of the young mother you mentioned---whether there was the same evidence of sever brain damage in her MRI....but we know that no two cases are alike.
    In essence, back in 1966, my siblings and I made a similar deecision regarding our mother, though it wasn't pulling the plug, it was more like, 'putting her down' the way we help Animals to pass over. On ther doctors advice---which was amazingly unusual for that time, he said, "The kindest thing we can do is to put your mother in a Sleep State, and let her sleep her life away. It was what we now call The Morphene Drip, which none of us had ever heard of back then because it just wasn't talked about at all, and which any number of people I have known with AIDS did in the early 1990's, by choice, knowing their quality of life was absolutely nil.
    In my mothers case, The Cancer had taken over; there was no more that could be done, and she was terribly terribly ill---all her organs shutting down---and very frightened.
    I must admit, I have never looked back and thought, maybe we shouldn't have done that. To me, it truly was the kindest and most loving thing we could do, and I will always be eternally grateful to her doctor for suggesting it and helping to put it into effect. It was, in my humble opinion, incredibly humane, and in truth, it was the right time.

  5. decisions like the one you mention are the hardest we may ever have to make. we will never understand why some people seem to rebound in similar situations and others don't. i am sure you did what you knew tom would want. that is the best you can ever expect of yourself. i applaud your courage and unselfishness.

  6. I do think you made the right thing.
    You have told me about directly face to face. And i did understand how hard it was, on the other hand: What was the real option?

    Here in Norway it's still forbidden.
    But abortion is legal, even though it's a healthy umbro.

    So, what's the moral here? Or the consquences of the Law?

    I would not like to end my life like a Zoombie. I want my closest family to remember me from the best side, not years as not me, and give them bad concious for not visiting a peron than not even know they do visit.

    btw. Your wonderful package resceived to day. I blogged it. With a link to your blog, for sure.

  7. Thank you, Suzann, for commenting on my blog (your warm words felt like a comforting hug) and alerting me to yours. Your post here and the compassionate comments show me that those of us who have lost loved ones have a community of people who understand.

    My Robert wasn't on life support -- he made the decision early not to permit it -- but I live with the "stab in the heart, ache in my gut, fissure in my soul" that you speak of so eloguently. I lost the love of my life to a cruel cancer that robbed him of his life and robbed us of our future.

    The memories are strong, and I keep them strong by writing in my journal each day.

    Thank you again for visiting my blog about aging, sexuality, and love:

    Joan Price
    author of Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk About Sex After Sixty.