A Six-Word Memoir® is the story of your life—some part of it or all of it—told in exactly six words.

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Dead lasts a really long time.

by catsmeow on September 22, 2013   |  FacebooktwitterTumblr

(With a nod to a recent Six by chewyd2 for the reminder of this story)

A friend's father, in his late 80s, suffered a severe stroke about two years ago. As he lay in his hospital bed, virtually unresponsive, barely taking nourishment, and unable to speak or move to any appreciable degree, a family conference was convened and I was invited to participate.

The doctor recommended that John be allowed to die, figuring we were only talking about a couple of days. Most of the rest of us were on the fence. Was there a downside to trying to reduce the swelling in his brain? Would we be prolonging his suffering? Was there a chance, however small, that he might recover? No one had clear answers to these questions.

Finally, it was John's brother, well on in years himself, who traveled thousands of miles to be at his brother's bedside, who tipped the balance with those six words, "Dead lasts a really long time." We chose to treat him.

A year later, John and his daughter sent a note out to family, friends and everyone involved in John's treatment. In the photo, they are at the dock, having just completed a jaunt aboard his Nordic Tug visiting a remote spot that my friend often frequented with her parents when she was young. In the photo, John is smiling and raising his middle finger in defiance, I imagine, of both the medical community and the odds.

He's been enjoying a very full couple of years.


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