My grandmother passed away last night. I received a phone call from my mom around 10:30 last night letting me know. My grandmother has been battling (what started as) kidney cancer for the last several years. She died peacefully at home, surrounded by her four daughters, family, and friends. While I'm obviously saddened by her death, I'm also glad that she is finally at peace. After several years of painful treatments for the cancer, she is no longer in any pain, and our family can take some solace in that knowledge.
I'm a little worried about my grandfather. When I talked to him on the phone last night, he seemed unsure of what he would do with the rest of his life. He's in good health, and has been in a care-giver role for my grandmother for so long, it may be hard for him to adjust to doing something else.
I'll be driving up to Luck, Wisconsin for the funeral later this week. She's asked that half of her ashes be buried there with her son's, and that the other half be returned to her native England to rest alongside her mother.
The Curmudgeon points to this story about Americans wanting to die at home. Thanks to John for pointing to it, and for his condolences. At least my grandmother was able to die at home, surrounded by her family. I think she might have preferred to have done so about six months earlier, however, before the pain and immobilization had become so troublesome.
``We must begin by becoming more willing to recognize the moment when our efforts only serve to worsen an irretrievable situation. Having acknowledged that such a time has come, we must abandon not the patient but the barricades on which we have been fighting the inevitable.''
My grandmother told me last fall that she was ready to give up, the treatments for the cancer had become worse than the disease itself. I can not fault the physicians at Johns Hopkins, however, they did everything possible to save and prolong my grandmother's life, but sometimes you just have to accept the inevitable, and change your focus from increasing the quantity of life (measured in time) to the quality of life.
I firmly support a person's right to die as they choose. After watching my grandmother struggle with cancer for so long, as well as a family friend slowly succumb to the mind-wiping of Alzheimer's disease, I have an extremely strong desire to end life on my own terms.
They never had clubs like this in my day. Iowa State apparently has a BDSM club now, called "Cuffs". It's for people who are interested in Bondage, Domination, Sadism and Masochism. What, no swingers club? Nudists? If you're going to have a club around a sexual issue, couldn't you start a little tamer?
John e-mailed me to tell me that my link to the Gore site was incorrect. He claims that I should link here instead. Not a bad parody site, I chuckled at it. I'm still not voting for George Dubya though. ";->"