The Visits

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I’ve witnessed loved ones avoiding the death conversation with ill relatives who clearly want to talk about it. This poem portrays a situation where someone avoids such a conversation – and then it’s too late:

The Visits

PART 1

Oh it’s nice in here!

Could you look out some stuff?

The nurses are sincere

Things are getting tough…

Anything you’re needing?

I can now accept…

What’s that you’re reading?

There are things I’ve kept…

How’s your appetitive?

Could you get me a drink?

Did you sleep last night?

I’ve been having a think…

PART 2

Are you ok today?

I need to say…

You’re not going away!

It’s been a bad day….

You look pale

The pain’s worse.

You seem frail.

I’ll get the nurse.

Just you rest.

She’s distressed.

Please close the door

Please clear the floor

Is she asleep?

Beep

Beep

Beeeeeeeeep

.

Sometimes when someone has a terminal illness the last thing the family want is to talk about the practicalities. These days, we’re conditioned to think about people getting better and when they are at the stage of never getting better; people don’t always deal with it in the best way they can. We will all die at some stage – every one of us. It’s the one thing that is promised to us all and yet it’s one of the most common taboo subjects.

It wasn’t always like this. As Louisa Peacock of The Telegraph states ““In the late 19th century, the standard of life used to be much lower and people died much earlier. the average life expectancy was around 48 [by 1901]. Nowadays people can expect to live into the high 90s. In the Victorian era, people understood that they had little time left to live a life, and they confronted and talked about mortality, operations and medicine as people around them died. Now the lifespan has increased, people don’t talk about it.”

We’ve had two world wars since then and gradually people have avoided talking about death. This, along with a vastly increased life expectancy, has added to the terrifying prospect of conversations around death.

For more information on talking about death see the Dying Matters  website. Another perspective is that some people just don’t want to talk about their own impending death. My father-in-law didn’t want to and the general feeling is that we should take the ill persons’ lead on this.

 

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Sincere

24 thoughts on “The Visits

  1. I think when a sick person wants to talk, we should listen to it. In my case, a month before my husband died, we had our talk. At that moment I didn’t know he would be dying soon. I thought if not many years, at least there will be another two years. We asked each other forgiveness for past mistakes, and behavior. His condition deteriorated, and we never had another chance to talk again, or said the final goodbye.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We live in a world that worships youth. And as we age the word death becomes anathema. I think that’s had a huge affect on our acknowledgment of death and dying. The other thing is we used to come home from the hospitals to wait to die. It was a natural part of life with the family popping in and out and living with the person. Our health care systems have contributed to the problem of facing death and dying because they don’t want to cover the supplies and services needed to keep someone at home. Fortunately that is beginning to change, however. More and more health care systems are beginning to cover those costs. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’ve made a good point about people coming home. I think in the UK, the hospices (which are amazing places) and so small and beds scarce that they do try to help people come home. Sadly sometimes families are scattered and if the person lives alone that is difficult to manage too. I’ve metioned before about my mother-in-law being terminal. She lives far away and lives alone. She’s doing great at the moment but we worry and she won’t come here. Luckily my husbands work is prepared to be flexible should he need to go to her for a prolonged period. Youth is indeed worshipped, and yet the mature have so much to offer. If only they got the chance.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve volunteered in a hospice before and I know exactly what you’re talking about. Some people are just so darn afraid of death while the dying person is actually completely at peace. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

    Liked by 1 person

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