Proud of his mother for staring down death

December 11, 2012 

My 89-year-old mother recently passed away, but she did so with complete dignity and honor. I would like to share her final story to give others strength when their time comes.

Life had become a real struggle for my mother. Every day held mostly pain and discomfort plus occasionally organ failure (she almost died when her kidney’s quit for a bit).

She knew full well that the end was near. She had paperwork filled out so she wouldn’t be kept alive on machines, and she wanted to die at home in her own bed and not in some sterile hospital room. She became concerned that something else might happen to put her in the hospital again, like the kidney episode, so she decided to get pro-active about things.

She decided to end her life on her own terms.

You see, she had a pace-maker, a thing considered an “assistance” for living, but not a “life-supporting” device. Legally, that means you can turn it off without committing a crime. There was hesitancy among some in the family about what mom wanted to do, but then everyone realized it was her choice and it needed to be honored.

For me, I have never been so proud of anyone in my life.

My mother had the courage at the end to stop, turn and with no fear, look death in the eye.

steve shanewise


The Olympian is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service