I think therefore I am? – On Losses

Photo by Matt Seymour on Unsplash

Being able to do whatever you want is something that we take for granted. Even simple things like walking would be greatly missed if we can no longer do them. Taking out the trash can be a burdensome chore, but you’d likely miss doing it if you couldn’t do it anymore. Wanting to go home but not being able to is something I have learned about over the past week. A cancelled flight was the cause of my homesickness. Patients may be too unwell to go home or anywhere else. Staying in hospice for end-of-life care. A trip outside to the garden can be in the too-hard basket. To be able to mow the lawn again would be a luxury for some people. To be able to wash and feed themselves would be a treat.

The loss of independence and assault on a person’s dignity. The heartbreaking moment when they realised that they cannot toilet themselves without assistance. The losses accumulate as the illness worsens. Every loss is grieved for, some for longer than others. Not being able to do what you want to, not being able to be who you want to be. Most of us have no idea of what real loss is. Quality of life is defined by each person themselves. People can get to the point when they no longer wish to live their current life. When they have had enough and are ready to die. This has usually been after a long period of consideration. They desperately wish to escape their current confinement, the prison of their own body. Each person has a limit, a point at which they can no longer tolerate the suffering of their situation. You can always tap out in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training but in real life, it is not that simple.

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