Saturday, February 23, 2008

Can death be a blessing?

My sister died around 11:30 am on Wednesday, February 20. We (my brothers, dad and myself) made it in around 9 pm the night before and stayed with her until she died.

She was in really bad shape, and I hope all who read this never have to bear witness to that kind of suffering. Liver failure was what killed her, and this was accompanied by fluid accumulation in her abdomen, nausea that was really hard to keep under control, and pain. Always the pain. It seemed she only occasionally found the right balance between lucidity and pain management, and in the end had to opt for the latter.

The doctor on call checked on her around 9 am that day, and said she'd order something for "anxiety". We (there were about 10 of us in the room with her - I hope I'm as fortunate) said we didn't think she was anxious, but the doctor ordered it, "just in case". Shortly after that Kris did get anxious and scared, so they gave her a sedative and after that she calmed down and gradually stopped breathing.

I feel guilty saying it was a blessing for her to die, but that body was junk at that point. There was no sense in keeping it going, the miracle wasn't going to happen. So, at this point, I'm still riding a wave of relief that she doesn't have to throw up bile every 10 minutes (sorry if that's too graphic), and haven't been sad to the point of crying since we left the hospital. It will come, I'm sure, probably when I'm at Target (who is that woman weeping by the detergent?...), but for now, I'm glad her suffering is over.