Thursday, October 6, 2011
Life like this: Death
"I think it must be hard for healthy folk to understand what it is to be stalked relentlessly by Death. To know that in the moments when you have not heard from it, you are being watched, chased from afar. And then the distance closes and Death becomes bolder, aggressive, and ever present."
* * *
Some years ago, someone was trying to scare me with the possibility that something I was doing might result in death, and was horrified that I shrugged off the threat. They could not believe I had come to grips with my own mortality long ago. There are half a dozen times in my life I should've been either dead or in a wheelchair. I had to deal with it back then, and I decided it didn't scare me. I know which way I'm going when I leave this earth.
What troubles me is when other patients die -- those a lot younger than me. The linked post was written in reaction to Amberlin Wu's death. I'm almost old enough to be Amberlin's mother. Another of our losses this week was 18 -- I'm about old enough to have been her grandmother. Imagine losing your child or grandchild; that's how we "first generation" patients feel this week. Our second and third generation are dying off, and we're powerless to stop it because the medical profession doesn't take the disease seriously. We can do nothing to save "our babies"; all we can do is cry when their lives end prematurely.
When will it end? And I don't mean "end in death".