Sunday, 20 March 2011

The worst choice

The only inevitability of life is death. We all know this. It doesn't ease the pain of the journey.

My father has been on this course of antibiotics for three and half days. They aren't working. Tonight we are told he probably won't get any better than he is now. He lies in a hospital bed struggling to catch his breath through the infection. Limbs diminished, bruised from nurses trying find a suitable vein, but still with a grasp surprisingly strong as he holds our hands. Does he know it us, what is happening to him?

This is the greatest loss I have ever faced, and I know it will be awful. Worse for Mum, the love of his life.

I will miss him.

This week there will be decisions to make. Keep him 'nil by mouth' while his lungs try to fight the pneumonia, and he is starved of food or let him comfort eat whilst the infection deepens filling his lungs and starving him of oxygen. How do we even begin to contemplate either?

I always imagined that my dad would walk me down the aisle, see his grand children find their way in the world, see me settled before leaving me. Instead, I sit here alone with my laptop and a glass of rioja for company wondering how much longer he will cling to life, to us.

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