Martha passed away…

I met Martha in our support group know. She was the oldest member of our circle, had already exceeded the 80.Lebenjahr and was pleased but coming back to the talks in our group. She also had to suffer from anxiety and depression. In addition, their hip joints were worn out and climbing the stairs to the 1st floor of our group space demanded a lot of strength from her. We always waited, until they had taken their place.

Martha became ill as a teenager from tuberculosis and after the then standard treatment had a lung removed her. Even small efforts were her increasingly difficult. Martha's husband had died some time ago, and she was alone – she had no children or other relatives. She lived alone in her apartment and was pleased with every visit. Sometimes they took a taxi into a department store, sat in front of the dressing rooms and watched for hours the people in the choice of new clothes. That gave her joy.

In our group we advised her, to look in the nursing homes, so that they would get an idea of, what would be on them may even. But despite many calls she refused, also to adopt this proposal. Only an emergency call button – tied around her neck – accepted it after many discussions.

Her condition deteriorated and finally it was a visit of our support group no longer possible. She got a care level – daily morning she sought a nursing service on – and the food was delivered her into the house.

One night there was a crisis and she pressed the emergency button of her collar. I visited her the next day in the intensive care unit of a hospital. She had pneumonia contracted, which resulted in their limited lung function to a threatening situation. There she lay, unconscious for many days and connected to many tubes. We already feared the worst. But the medical intensive care unit did a good job. After a few weeks their crisis was overcome, and there was the big question to her: how should it go on?

Home alone their supply was no longer possible. Along with the social worker we thought, which home out of the question for them. She had little choice, since their imminent transition from the hospital directly to a nursing home. Finally she agreed and a new life began. The dissolution of their old apartment and several administrative procedures we took for them.

But the move to the new environment was very difficult for her. She had such an ensuite small room, but the surrounding area was completely alien to her. Martha ate with other nursing home residents at a table, some of which were accordingly and did not take it quite as accurate with the food culture, and their ideas fit there so not into it. At first she enjoyed the sun in her wheelchair on the balcony and was pleased with every visitor. But the winter was at the door…

Martha's condition deteriorated and she needed more and more help. This brought them into conflict with the sisters, which are not always found the right time due to their workloads, meet their needs. And, they got scared, burdening the sisters by their helplessness too, trying their desires to reduce. We got her an electric wheelchair, for her to create more open spaces. At first, she practiced the wheelchair driving and said: “I can do it – Finally, I have a driver's license…”. But over time, their strength was and she wanted, finally be that stupid electric wheelchair to get rid, so they would not have to raise this concentration.

In daily conversations with her she lamented their helplessness and the loss of their freedom. She was going completely clear-headed and happy discussed philosophical questions. And, She enjoyed the. But the desire – “I want to die” – grew from day to day. There were days with panic calls, where they thought, it would be now so far and she wished visit as possible throughout the day with stimulating conversation. but we did this desire not sufficiently meet their.

Their possibilities of movement took more and more from, so that she could finally take even in her television chair or bed only with the help of a new position. She pulled more and more into her little room back, staring all day in her television chair against the wall and eventually fell into depression. You could not make clear decisions, what she could do and what not. The sisters they demanded a lot and they suffered.

Her wish to die grew more and more. She got tablets, which made them very sleepy, and the structure of the day and night got mixed up. Martha became incontinent, what was their most embarrassing, and finally she could not get out of her bed. Now she only spoke of their desire to die.

Martha no longer drank enough and the food had become irrelevant to her. During my visits I experienced them in various states: agitated times, sometimes anxious, even absent… Her world consisted almost entirely in her head, where old memories of her youth reappeared.

Martha wanted to experience her birthday. They managed – But a few days later she died.

On her last walk in her urn burial we accompanied them. A funeral anonymously and without ceremony, as they wished it had.

And, these were the last days of Martha – now she is gone…

What made me particularly affected in its history, is their loss of freedom in their last phase of life. The period of life, where you can no longer act itself but is dependent on others' help. I learned a lot in the company of her dying process – I am grateful for her. I learned, me with my own dying process, which is hopefully still far away, a little deal. Die one of them to our lives, it is part of life. And we should not push so far this, but quiet once send thoughts about us. How do I feel so, when I direct the thoughts on my death? What I feel here? This is specific to each individual – Surely only one: the death…

CIAO Hans

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