May 26th, 2005

monkey pirate

Going Home

My grandfather has pneumonia again.

Rather than pursue treatment, therapy and rehab yet again - he's elected to go home. The doctors respect his decision and are principally concerned with allowing him to die in dignity and comfort.

The problem of hospice care presents itself - he will need a full-time attendant. My sister lives in his home but has decided she can't participate in his care at all - which surely indicates that she's very scared of losing what amounts to her last parent on earth.

I am torn apart by the fact that I am clearly needed there, and yet I am here. When I last visited my grandfather he was obviously not doing well, and though I hesitated to say it aloud, it seemed to me he'd given up. His body is failing him, and his iron constitution which saw him through a lifetime of woes has at last given out. He's gone through two world wars, countless economic depressions, feast and famine, and all the stress of family life for eight decades - but at last old age and care has claimed what sickness, injury and misfortune never could.

I hope that he is able to go to the home that he has loved for so long, and shared with his family. I hope that my sister can find courage and grace in the difficult time, and I hope that I can somehow be of use or service.

I don't know what else to do.