Monday, 28 October 2013

No One Wants to be Remembered...

A friend is going through exactly what I went through just over a year ago. It's painful to witness and painful to relive, especially since it's only 9 days after the one year anniversary of my own Moms passing.

Her mom is struggling throughout her days as she copes with COPD, (by the sounds of it, possibly 3rd or 4th stage). Back and forth to the hospital; out when she should be in; in when she only wants is out.
The stubborn denial: that it's just a 'breathing problem', because that doesn't seem so fatal.

She and her sister are not seeing eye to eye, which is a shame during these heart-wrenching times.
Her sister is in a resentful state of mind, and because of such is unsympathetic to her moms circumstance. she remains in the 'she did it to herself' and 'didn't quit when the doctors told her to,' mindset.

I know exactly what those thoughts feel like because I wore them expertly, like the safety helmet on the health committee. When someone with COPD is at the point where the frequency of their trips to the hospital is in a rapid incline, quitting smoking is pretty much a moot point. It's not going to be the all magical healing wand. It's not going to add the years back to her life. It's already too late.

I had to make that choice. It was either ignore the elephant in the room, let him hang out on his own accord, or let it take all of my attention and energy, which really only boiled down to taking time away from being with my mom. With the person she is, was, rather than spending it focused on what she was addicted to.

Today this friend, having had an emotional & stressful day, having to take her mom to the hospital again, posted a photo of her mother. In the hospital. In the gown. Hooked up to the oxygen mask and IVs. And completely out of it.

I felt immediate discomfort when looking at this photo. I understood that perhaps she felt alone, maybe helpless, as she sat at the hospital watching her mom in this state. Perhaps this propelled her to post this photo to get the much needed care and supportive words from friends and loved ones. I also felt immediate tension in my heart as memories resurfaced of being in the hospital with my mom during those last few months, days, hours. Thankfully that heartache remains under wraps for today. Possibly from being extremely fatigued or completely aware of the hurt that would escape should these feelings break free. Instead I find myself feeling sad for her mother. She wasn't coherent enough to notice anyone was taking a photo of her. If she is anything like my own mother, I'm sure she'd had a few things to say about it if she had.

It got me to thinking about the world these days via internet.
Is there nothing to be said for the sanctity of privacy?

I believe that there are things that should remain within families as personal moments not meant for the world. I know this lends it self to the eternal conversation on the freedom of speech and of expression. I'd like to believe that this pertains to the individual themselves, and not offering up the personal moments of others to the world without their consent. This friend didn't mean any harm by posting the photo of her mother indisposed, but that didn't stop be from advocating on her mothers behalf. Without trying to be pushy, this is what I said:

You are right, you can post whatever you want on FB but do try to consider your moms' perspective. 
She may not be coherent at this moment to have a say, but how would she feel if she could? It would be  
embarrassing for her. I know for my personally, I wouldn't want someone showing the world me in that state. 

No one wants to be remembered for their weakest moments.

I am pleased to learn she did agree and "out of respect for her mother" has removed the photo.
But what do you think? Where's the line? Or is there one? What are your thoughts?

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