Wisdom, Council on Aging

I missed my Mother’s death 18 years ago.

Neon lights flashing, “Your mother is dying,” were completely lost on me. My determination that she would “beat it” and come home. Not so.

So I was determined that I would “receive” my father’s death, and respect the way in which he wanted to die. A decision that I was quite sure my very capable father, had made.

My Dad, checked himself out of the hospital against doctor’s orders, and went home, rebuffing professional help that he so desperately needed to survive.

And my father died a brilliant death, just the way he wanted it. 12 hours before his 90th birthday, he died standing up, in his doctor’s waiting room, having just, so characteristically in his gentlemanly way, taken off his hat, waiting to give his doctor “hell” for treating him like “a pathetic invalid.”

My father died “with his boots on” and did not “go gentle into that good night.”

It may have been a “brilliant” death for my father, but it took an enormous toll out of all the people who surrounded him and loved him so much.

And the Council on Aging is not only for the individual who is aging, but it is also a resource of comfort, expertise and information for families and friends who love them.

Mary Eaton