Monday, March 12, 2007

Moral Dilemma

Usually I like to limit the posts in this blog to my cheerful musings on my life or just light, fluffy writing about nothing in particular. When I was in the writer's club in high school, I used to roll my eyes at those girls that wrote nothing but angst-y, heart-wrenching poems about heartbreak and sadness. Arguably though, expressing these sadder emotions through writing is cathartic; an effective form of therapy I suppose. Often, these more intense emotions are the motivation to write.

So with that as an introduction, I feel compelled to write about my current moral dilemma.

My grandmother is sick. Well, sick is an understatement. She's dieing. She's in the hospital in the palliative care ward being treated for heart problems. Problems, they say, she will not recover from without an invasive surgery to install a pacemaker. The nurses actually told my mom that the humane thing to do is to "let her go." My first reaction upon hearing this news was to go home and see her at the first opportunity. However, my mom insists that I "don't bother." My grandmother has symptoms of a more advanced stage of Alzheimer's (or some form of dementia) and likely wouldn't recognize me or if she did, even remember that I had been there at all. I insisted that this isn't really the point. If I know she's dieing and I make no effort to go see her, what sort of human being am I? Yes, it's inconvenient to go all the way there and know that my effort won't even be recognized but does that matter?

My mom has an unusually callous attitude about the whole thing. The way she talks about the approaching death of her mother is so nonchalant, it's creepy. I realize that their relationship has never been good and in terms of love, there's not a lot there but again, I'm not sure this is the point.

So I'm torn.

But I'll need to make a decision soon because this is a seriously time sensitive issue. The thought of her dieing alone and confused in the hospital is awfully sad. It's hard to follow your gut and do what you think is right when your parents, the people you've looked to for guidance and advice all your life, are telling you to do the opposite. Ultimately, this isn't something I'd be doing for my grandmother, it's something I'd be doing for me


April said...

Go see her!! This is your grandmother. Your Mom is acting funny now but when you grandma dies she'll be very upset. You only live a couple hours away. If you don't go you'll regret it Miranda! Even if your Grandma doesn't recognize you, I'm sure somewhere in her 'eternal' soul, if you believe in that sort of thing, she'll love you for coming.

Carly said...

I'd go. When my grandpa died, he lived in Winnipeg, and I was always sad I didn't get to go visit one last time. And when Oliver died, I wasn't going to see him before my parents buried him because I thought I would be too upset, but Adrian said "You'll regret it - it's your last chance to see him," so I went. He was right, I would have regretted it.

Anonymous said...

Awwww Lou :'( Poor old gal. My grandma (the Frohe Weihnnachten one) is very sick in the hospital right now too, though they are saying her chances are improving slightly now. If it would make you feel better, I say go, it's only a couple hours away like April was saying - it may seem far and like it's a big investment of time but at least you wouldn't have to cross the ocean to Switzerland :)

M said...

Thanks for everyone's concern :) Turns out my mom was a little dramatic on Monday when I spoke to her. My grandmother appears to be improving, however, this suddent strain on her heart has pretty much destroyed any brain cells she had left. She's pretty far gone now. They will likely discharge her from the hospital but she can't continue living in her apartment at Malcolm House. She was seriously pushing the term "independent living" before and now, it's pretty much an impossibility. So instead of planning a funeral, we get to plan a move to a continuous care facility.

I will certainly be going to see her soon though.