Medicine vs Nature

Until recently, I truly have not analyzed the different aspects of dying due to terminal illness. This past February, however, I was forced to take these aspect into consideration suddenly when my Grandmother was faced with her last few weeks of life. I learned more about myself, my family, and mainly about the medical process of treating someone who is in their last few stages of life. This article did the same task of making me think and teaching me about the different approaches that are taking within each situation. So while reading the article “letting Go”, I was able to some extent, relate first hand to what each of the patients were experiencing because of the situation I was in with my family just a few months ago. Since the day my grandmother was admitted, we began the roller coaster of treatments and procedures to help cure her illness. She was first brought to the emergency room because of drastic loss of breath, she then spiraled down into a complete need for full medical attention. At this point, after given plenty of treatments and medicines, she was on the verge of being sent home  until overnight, she endured a stroke and was fully out of consciousness. Through weeks of treatments and full range of emotions from our family members, her feeding tube was removed at the moment we realized this was the end of her time and she was taken home. With hospice, we were able to spend her last few days with her as she fought through, but was unsuccessful as she passed peacefully with all 8 of her children at her bedside. The picture I’ve attached was the moment I realized the machines and medicines were never going to bring my grandmother back, we must let medicine give her peace while going through this process, but not prolong it.
After this experience, reading Letting Go was easier to comprehend and relate to than it would have been for me before my grandmothers passing. The feeling of knowing you don’t want your loved one to pass, but that there time has come is hard to understand. So when asked this question, “What should medicine do when it cannot save your life?” the first thing I did was bring myself back to the feelings I had during that time I went through this situation. In my eyes, I feel medicine should invoke a way for those who are terminally ill to be peaceful through their process of dying. In Sara Monopli’s situation, I feel that instead of her being treated as a guinea pig for theses new treatments, her husband as well as her, should have realized it was her time and let her enjoy your last few memories with her family. The feeling of having a loved one completely overtaken by medicines and medical machines is worse than simply letting them go naturally, in my eyes.Image

P.S I Love you

Death has always been a hard idea for me to grasp. The reality of the infinity of it is nearly impossible for some to understand; so in turn, our community turns to several sources to understand the idea better one mainly being mass media.

Usually, we naturally watch movies for entertainment. But what we don’t always see in these films/shows is that they create a fiction idea of what death really is. We are creating a reality of death through the eyes of directors and producers. Movies, where death is the main focus of the plot, such as ‘P.S. I Love You’, are perfect examples of how death is portrayed through the eyes of movie crews. In P.S. I Love You, the husband of a newlywed couple finds out that he has a terminal illness. After going through the motions of his death, the widowed young women finds herself depressed and unmotivated until she begins receiving letters and hints from her “dead” husband. The letters direct the women to go live her life, be happy, and even gives her every detailed instruction on how to do so, including plane tickets. While going along with this absurd new routine, the wife began to grow and do exactly the things she wanted to in her life. She did this all without her husband physically present but in her mind he was spiritually, through these letters.

Culturally, some scenes showed how the Irish deal with death being that the husband with a loving Irish man. While mourning his death at his funeral, the family took shots after each said their goodbyes and shared their experiences, the funeral then turned into a party with everyone celebrating his life. This showed me that in their culture, death is more of a celebration of life rather than something to be sad about. I think as Americans, we deny death more than we should as it is inevitable.

Despite the emotion and humor throughout the movie, when analyzing it, the film seemed to precisely show a literal meaning of death or the idea that although that person is not physically here with us, they are in spirit. As a literal meaning, I think the movie portrayed death as something that physically ends our time on earth, but spiritually we don’t truly dying in others minds or hearts. Personally, I am figuring out a way to deal with the physical loss of my grandmother, but I don’t feel like, spiritually, I will ever lose her. The movie helped me realized that instead of morning my Grandmother’s physical loss, I should be living as she wanted me to and achieving the things she expects me to as she is still alive in my heart.

American’s have a different view on death to some extent, than the Irish family did in this movie. The family seemed to accept the fact that the husband was going to die, instead of keeping him on countless machines and life support. Here in America, we seem to avoid the fact that death is natural and inevitable so we try everything in our power to stop the course of death. This proves how America in a death denying culture.Image