This week we were all saddened to hear of the passing of Barbara Bush.
At the age of 92, she had truly led a full life, with her husband and son as president and another son as governor.
She also had her own impressive list of accomplishments, including the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.
But, that is not my topic for today.
Rather, it's what will tend to be mostly ignored and forgotten.
On April 16, it was widely reported that Barbara Bush decided that she would no longer go back into the hospital for treatment of her COPD and congestive heart failure.
She died the next day.
This story struck me, because here is a family with nearly unlimited wealth and access to every medical miracle available.
Yet, she decided that she had had enough, and more importantly, her family honored her wishes.
This is a lesson that would be well worth remembering.
Now, I realize that the first comment will be, "Yeah, well she was 92!"
Yet, you have no idea how many 90 year olds we see in the ICU with a terminal illness, being kept alive by machines, because the family (not the patient, often) can't let go.
We have forgotten that death is a part of life, and something we cannot avoid.
Yes, when it's a 40 year old mother, who is battling a terminal disease, there's this desperate urge to fight on at all costs.
Sometimes, we unwittingly torment the ill person by saying they need to "fight". Not realizing that this causes terrible stress, because they feel like they've given up on their loved ones.
Death is a reality we cannot avoid, no matter if you are rich, poor, young, old, smart, stupid, black, white yellow or brown.
Coming to appreciate when it's time, and supporting an individual when they have arrived at that conclusion, is as important as supporting them when they are alive.
Rest in Peace, Barbara.
I hope the world can draw courage from your example, and learn that it's okay to say, "Enough".
And for once, I will say, listen to what I'm saying, and don't be "Skeptical".
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Filed under: Health Care