Flying in the face of death

I have been dealing with some internal turmoil over whether to go and visit my Uncle Gil (who is the person I refer to in yesterday’s post). It is likely that he will die this weekend. I remember when my nan died. In the days leading up to her death, she looked like all her spirit had left her body. She was a shell of the person that I remember in life. It broke my heart. I am scared of seeing that again.

I feel like I want to remember Gil full of life and laughter. He had the most wicked sense of humour and it defined him. Now he can hardly even talk. I don’t know if that’s how I want to think of him. I’m scared.

I remember a few months ago I went to visit him when he was still at home. He got tired and breathless and he fell over when he came to see me off. It was awful. I helped him inside. He was embarrassed and hurt and he told me to leave. He didn’t want me to see him like that. I left, but it stayed with me for a long time.

He lived with so much dignity and he doesn’t want people to see him without it. I don’t blame him. I’m worried that when I see him I’ll start crying and not be able to stop. I know that will happen.

So I had decided not to go. I was talking it through at dinner last night with some friends. One asked me if perhaps my attitude was selfish. No matter how I am going to feel about seeing him, if I was dying would I not want to see everyone that I loved one more time? I guess she might be right. And it’s not like I’ll have the opportunity to change my mind later. You only get one shot when death’s involved.

So I’ll go tonight and say goodbye. I’m crying already.


One thought on “Flying in the face of death

  1. The last time you see someone who is dying is not the way you remember them. You remember them for what they were in life, not what they were in death.

    When I last saw my Dad he was a wreck; he didn’t know who he was; he didn’t know who I was. I will never forget our last moments together but I will always remember him for who he was and what he gave me: He was my Dad.

    That was 28 years ago.

    I would never have forgiven myself if I hadn’t seen him that one last time.

    Say goodbye. You won’t regret it.


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