Someone in my family is dying.
She is 69 years old.
What the doctors put down to arthritis and asthma turned out to be aggressive cancer in her bones and a collapsed lung. Both of which she has had for an undetermined length of time.
She describes the pain in her pelvis, legs, arms and chest as an intense burning that only morphine seems to dampen.
She was given 2 weeks to live and has chosen to accept death in as little pain as the doctors can give her.
She is quite spiritual. She believes in ghosts, luck and predictions.
In terms of claims about the afterlife she has always been skeptical. Philosophically she is a Buddhist, but spiritually she is agnostic. Choosing to live her own life on society’s morals rather than putting her potential soul in the hands of a foundless religion.
Despite an obvious belief bias, she has not given in to the priests that made the rounds in the hospital offering confessionals and redemption. She has called bullshit on their version of morality.
She is in great pain and has forewarning of imminent death yet remains mentally strong enough to recognise the absurdity of their claims.
Whilst I’ve no idea how she must be struggling inside (I imagine it must be akin to the panic of suffocation, knowing you’re about to die and the body desperately struggling to hold on, but much more terrifyingly prolonged), on the outside she is uncowed.
I cannot describe the range of emotions this lady inspires in me, but pride is near the top.