My friend Nicholas Rossis, my Monday Morning RED HOT Teleseminar Series Interview (Please sign up at http://publishwithconnie.com/mondaymorning/) for Nov. 10, sent me an e-mail with this link: http://www.economist.com/news/books-and-arts/21621688-too-many-old-people-developed-world-end-their-lives-hospital-hooked-up
The article is about the “end of life” issues. While Nicholas’ novels (Pearseus Series at: http://publishwithconnie.com/Pearseus or The Power of Six at: http://publishwithconnie.com/powerofsix) doesn’t directly deal with “end of life” issues; however, all of the novels do delve into the spiritual.
Great article, Nicholas! Here are some of my thoughts about the “end of life:”
Boston's Mayor Tom Menino spent three decades in the office. This last election, he chose not to run. Unfortunately, he had cancer and though he spent many of his days through the last 8-9 months writing and publishing a book, he had to cancel his book tour. He died last week. His funeral was Nov. 3. While you probably don't know him, and I didn't know him other than what I saw of him in the news. He spent the last hours of his life in a hospital.
I actually do have a book that deals with “end of life” issues. This book surrounds my mother’s death and the great privilege that I felt as I witnessed this inevitable time in everyone’s life. My book is entitled, “Miss Odell: the Privileges of Being
Present at the End of Her Life - a reality book on caring for an elder.” To find out more about this book or to order, go to: http://publishwithconnie.com/missodell/
My mom spent her last days and hours in her assisted living apartment with me by her side as much as I could, then I had people come sit with her to fill in the other hours of 24/7. She chose not to go to the hospital again. She had congestive heart failure. She was too frail to have surgery on her heart to repair the leaky valve that was causing the problem. So for the last 4-5 years of her life, she was on oxygen and periodically had urinary tract infections caused by the Lasix, which forced the extra water in her body out...so it didn't collect in her lungs. She lasted about three months in hospice care, hospice in the U.S. comes in mostly at the end of people's lives and helps them and their families manage the pain.
Unfortunately, in the U.S., I think one state, Oregon, allows assisted suicides. I'm not sure how I feel about it, but I think it is a personal decision. I knew my mom would choose her time. My father, as I understood from his caretakers, did not understand that they could give him more pain meds, so his death was more painful for him. He, too, chose when he would go.
It's a shame that the end of our lives are often not as peaceful as we wish. In the Native American cultures, the old people served as elders. They had a useful position of passing on the traditions. And when it was their time to join the spirit world, they would go out into desert or mountains or other terrain...and find that peaceful place in which they would transition.
I think the traditions of some of our indigenous peoples around the world were more people-centered. There are those who believe that we should return to the earth-centered way of living. Most Americans would die if they had to "live off the land." We no longer as a culture know how to do that.