ALZHEIMER'S- THE RIGHT TO LIVE OR DIE!
There have been moments when I feel somewhat lost about my deep feelings regarding my mother. Through these last 14 years as I witnessed her slipping away, I have also been able to remain thankful and cherish that she is still alive.
Since her illness I have fallen in love with her unconditionally. Several years ago we shared our laughter and acted so silly almost as if we were teenagers. Today as the disease progresses things with mom are quite different.
My love for her remains undeniable yet when someone in my Alzheimer's Support Group loses their parent my hopeful attitude fades away and these thoughts can certainly haunt me. Several weeks ago two members from my group suddenly lost their mothers. It made me wonder why those who joined the group after me, have lost their parents before me; each and every time I question why mom is still alive after having dementia for so many years
What kind of life can mom now possibly have? She exists, but does she really? Is this life worth living for she no longer has any appreciation of any of the beautiful things that once surrounded her world? Memories of her husband and children are all but gone.
Mom use to love to go to museums, movies and theatre. She enjoyed her morning walks or strolling on the beach. She adored reading, had a great quest for knowledge and loved taking continuing educational classes. For many years now none of these things exist in her life.
Now, although she probably does not know the difference, she walks around sterile hallways passing others who are confined to wheelchairs and no longer speak. I have often said that she is the lucky one yet I now question....is she? (Since I wrote this mom is now in a wheelchair although two aides from restorative therapy come and walk with her each day. They are trying to get her to walk . I have been told that she no longer has the strength nor energy since her illness this past January.)
If she could speak for herself or see herself through different eyes would she want to keep on living? I believe deep in my heart I know her answer. The answer is what I truly would want for myself. Mom will turn 93 years old in August and there have been many years that have come and gone that she has no idea of her age, her life, her family, nor even her existence.
Most of us choose not to speak about this yet it is something that as human beings should be our right. We should be able to make our own choice of how we live and when we should die. My choice has always been with dignity and that is what I so heartily wish for my mother.
Regardless of your beliefs I am certain that we can all agree that Alzheimer's is one of the cruelest diseases. It takes away ones entire world as if it never existed. It has no cure and the ending can be gruesome. So I ask you, should we have the right to choose if we live or die?
MY MOM MY HERO - A mother & daughters new found love. http://www.amazon.com/Mom-Hero-Alzheimers--daughters-bittersweet/dp/0615773982/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1454248406&sr=8-1&keywords=lisa+hirsch