Saturday, March 14, 2009

Waiting To Die

My grandmother is old and dying - she has been this way for a few years now and lurches from one medical emergency to another. The grand kids who are in India are probably suffering from compassion and sympathy fatigue - not that they had a lot to begin with. So late last year while she lay in the hospital holding on to life by the slenderest thread, her youngest grandson was out at a dance club across town with his girlfriend celebrating Durga Puja.

I haven't seen my grandmother in a long time and don't find myself thinking about her until I hear of a crisis. I have some pleasant childhood memories of her but not nearly as many since coming of age. Until it blows over, she remains in my thoughts and fades away once again. the last event was a fairly serious one and we had braced ourselves for the worst.

As she drifted between wakefulness and unconsciousness, I found myself thinking about the life she has lead so far and how it came to be that she does not matter very much to anyone anymore; how it came to be that her children and grandchildren would much rather get on with their own lives than wait on hers to ebb out. Do people simply get too busy to care, or it is something the individual does or does not do in the prime of their lives that leaves them in my grandmother's sorry state. I wondered what would it take for someone to not end up the way she has.

4 comments:

ggop said...

Very thoughtful musings today HC!
This is a very common situation for many aged people in poor health. Wonder what she thinks...

xanindia said...

I pity the dying especially those who are financially in constraints. The relatives or the nearest love ones should take care and show compassionate enough to ease the pain of the dying process. Nobody wants to be treated like an animal, so love here is of the essence. Go on and show your deep love to your grandmother. You will never be in this world if not because of her.

Rohini said...

It's really strange how we go on with our life n don't really care about the reason for our being in this world... I've seen people who've lived life king size n were abandoned in their last stage when they really need help n support... It's sad n weird....

Heartcrossings said...

ggop - Yeah, my grandma is losing her memory rapidly and I guess it is just as well. She would not have felt happy to see how little she means to people..

xanindia - You are right. I would have been in this world but for me and so there must be gratitude. It is sad when someone you are supposed to feel close to feels so distant and remote (emotionally) that they could almost be a stranger. You have to wonder when and how that happened.

Rohini - It is sad but there must be a reason why this happens.My theory is that there is sometimes lapses on both sides of the equation. While we generally feel sorry for the one about to die but those that are left behind who could not feel the love that they should have felt are equally unfortunate.