My poor old uncle, aged 83, long burdened by Parkinson's Disease and cancer, and who recently had a nasty fall that rendered him unconscious for a few days, revived sufficiently yesterday to tell his wife and doctors "No more".
No more meds, no more food. He has decided to turn his face to the wall and slip away. He has had enough, and I can't say I blame him. Despite everything, his intelligence has remained intact, and until very recently there were traces of his habitual dry wit and self -deprecating humour. An active and fit man, with an encyclopaedic knowledge of miltary history, his illness has mostly entailed an agonising curtailment of his former pleasures. His wife of over fifty-five years, herself a cancer survivor, was still (quite voluntarily) pushing him round in a wheelchair until a few weeks ago, but her increasing frailty would have soon made a nursing home an inevitability for him. He knew that, whatever, he was not destined to return to sleep in his own bed. He is currently in a side room of a small local hospital, tended and as comfortable as he can be. According to my mother (his sister) the nursing and pastoral care is exemplary and it is close enough for family visiting to be easy. But we are talking of less than a handful of days here. A gentle slide into the void, tenderly held in the arms of Morpheus, the quiet extinguishing of his light.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord. May he rest in peace.