Icicles are a fleeting beauty here. They form, they grow, and then they melt. Unless they break loose unexpectedly to shatter on the ground.
Yesterday on Facebook I read and shared THIS excellent article -- How We Used to Die; How We Die Now -- and was a little surprised at the enthusiastic response -- from people with aging parents and from those, like me, who are looking at end of life choices for themselves. (Note: I'm fine, really. But reading obituary after obituary of people younger than myself makes me thoughtful, After all, I'm not Keith Richards who, like cockroaches, will probably outlast everyone.)
I'm not at all afraid of death -- it's the dying that worries me. And I don't want to do that hooked to machines. Evidently this is a fairly common attitude, but anxious families may demand that the physician exert every effort and, in the absence of a living will, the physician is helpless.
Several people recommended books on the subject: Being Mortal by Atul Gawande and The Conversation by Angelo Volandes.
Home death, like home birth, has its pros and cons. Both can be painful and messy, both put a toll on the attendants. But, I suspect, properly prepared for, the experience could be rewarding for all. (Did you know there is such a thing as a death doula, a person prepared to help the family usher the loved one out of the world?)
I was present at my mother's death in the hospital. The hospital was her and my father's choice, as was the nursing home my father died in -- again his choice.
My mother-in-law died at her home here on the farm, attended by her daughter, and my husband, I was out of town but I was told it was a quiet and peaceful passing.
May we all have the same -- whatever the setting.