Just because they are old doesn’t mean they are dying!

I don’t understand the mentality of people who give up on people just because they are old and passively wait for their death when they’ve been otherwise relatively healthy. I just finished visiting a hospice where my great aunt Sheba, who is of sound mind and a vibrant 96 years of age, is installed and the word from the relatives was that she was terminal, hence my visit to say my last goodbyes. Imagine my surprise when I get there and learn that there is NO terminal illness per se she is suffering from that has put her in this state. She fell and hurt hurt hip, was medivaced to the hospital, developed pnemonia at some point IN the hospital, starting losing consciousness and has apparently slipped into a comatose sleeping state where she isn’t EATING nor is she responding or opening her eyes. They have tried feeding her intravenously and did swallow tests but I guess the food is being rejected some kind of way. That is why they put her in the hospice.

Her doctors apparently conveyed to the family that there was nothing else they could do and she hasn’t had food for 2 days. She was responding to a stick dipped in water placed in her mouth but they say she still won’t swallow. I was SO CLOSE to grabbing those long medical sticks and shoving them in her mouth ONE BY ONE in front of the passive family just sitting there accepting her fate but I restrained myself because that might have been awkward and most unwelcome. But it still was a mighty feat for me to sit there and not do anything. I wish my Dad and I bought a Bible so we could read to her because she is/was a religious woman and maybe she would respond to that.

I guess I’m just optimistic because without a terminal condition stated by her doctors, She certainly isn’t TERMINAL TO ME. My Dad Tommy Smith and I held her hand and she appeared at points to hold on to our hand with some strength. I talked to her and told her several times that she needed to get up so we can take her to get her bi monthly manicure although her manicure was still holding up firm. We both rhythmically rubbed her hands at length while telling her she needed to wake up and get some food in her so the good doctors can be begin treating her so she can get out that place and we could go to a good restaurant for some REAL FOOD. My dad, who is her favorite nephew, talked to her about smiling and waking up. After much talking to her, for a few brief moments, she gripped her jaw tight and appeared to stop her light breathing/snoring, which made me alert and hopeful for more substantial movement. Alas, I think she went back to sleep.

She has lived a long and good life with good health and without mental diminished capacity of any sort like dementia or Alzheimer’s setting in so I can’t see why she would want to leave this earth and therefore I want to assist her in staying. It’s not that we were particularly close but she is a good lady and she is an inspiration to me for living to an old age and still living a fulfilled life and having your wits about you. But I reluctantly acknowledge that maybe she is tired and is now ready for a new “experience” or journey that is not here with us any longer which is why she won’t eat anything. But I’m still not going to let her go yet until she tells me so somehow.