When my mother recently passed away, it wasn't hard to find the positive side of death.
| As I watched her breathing become very labored, I couldn't help but blame myself in some way. She was quickly slipping from me and despite the fact that she had gotten substandard care in the emergency room just added fuel to my mood. It was just the fact that she was 92 and the staff just looked at her like "oh well she's going to die anyway". Their uncaring approach was almost more than I could stand. They finally after eight hours of neglect moved my mother upstairs to the transitional unit.
It was amazing the difference in attitude after she was moved. Finally a competent nurse! Finally a caring physician. She was now on fifteen liters of oxygen. Just hearing those words told me it was just a matter of hours. My sisters and I stood by her side not wanting to leave her for even a moment. The months that I had spent taking care of her were now coming to and end. Still it seemed too soon. She wanted to go though. On numerous occasions she had stated she didn't know why she was still here.
Finally realizing there was nothing more I could do, I allowed them to make arrangement to send her to the Critical Care Unit where she could be monitored better. When my sisters and I stepped out of the room for them to move her, they paged her doctor STAT overhead. Having worked there for more than twenty years I knew all too well what that meant. We ran back to her room and waited outside. Her nurse ran out and remarked "I don't like what I'm seeing." Then the physician went in and the hospital supervisor went in. It was just moments when they stepped out and told us that she was gone!
As much as it was still a shock, she at least left this world "her way". She had been in and out of the hospital for fourteen months and she was simply tired. On the positive side, she had lived ninety two years. When my father was alive they had traveled a lot and enjoyed life to the fullest until he passed away thirteen years earlier. Living alone was lonely for her but she functioned well until she didn't.
When I look back on her life now, I am no longer sad but remember how much she enjoyed life and the little funny things she would say. Death does not have to be something negative and depressing. For her it was an end to an almost perfect life. She laughed, she loved, and she left us with lots of memories.