Could you help someone you love, to end their life?
Rina, my poodle, was dying. I’d been in love with her from the moment she entered my life. She was six at the time and now she was fourteen and suffering. She had been my constant companion for more than eight years. We went everywhere together and I mean everywhere. She’d been well for so long, until she suddenly wasn’t. I expected her to live forever. It took twelve trips to the vet over three week until I realised she was never going to recover. My world was shattered. Through the tears, I negotiated for our vet to euthanize her. I loved her too much to allow her to continue suffering. It was a hard but necessary decision and I didn’t hesitate to make it. It was an act of love.
Why could I make this decision for my pet and wonder if I’m able to make a similar decision for a human? Maybe I don’t love people as much as I loved Rina.
I am 63 and believe in euthanasia. My sister, Janet, is 73 and also believes in euthanasia. Our mother is 93 and she too believes. But believing in it is not the same as being prepared to go through with it. It is not the same as being prepared to assist a loved one die. Yes we have the theory, but I wonder if we will ever put it into practice.
Pamela J Parker’s book, , confronts the issue of euthanasia. She shares her families story in a quirky and entertaining way. Her writing often appears as stream-of-consciousness and has you propelling along, wondering where she’s taking you. Other chapters seem to follow the expected conventions of writing; telling the story in chronological order, and yet other sections incorporate flashbacks to a life well lived. She uses repetition to push home events. But through her unusual style a story of great significance unfolds. As a reader I was often confused, but never lost. I trusted her to answer my questions and she did.
Ida Buttrose calls it, “Powerful… extremely moving… totally heart-rendering.”
Susan Johnson says, “A devastating and beautiful memoir about a family and the painful tangle of life, loss and love.”
I usually don’t like prologues. I believe they can usually be the first chapter instead of calling them a prologue. BUT, the Prologue in this book works. It’s only a page long, but sets the scene for a challenging ride. It finishes with the words, “my mother is dead, my father killed her.” If that doesn’t keep you reading, nothing will.
And here’s part of the book blurb.
“The Long Goodbye takes us deep into the lives of an Australian family as they survive record-breaking floods, outlast epic droughts and face the unforgiving realities of life on the land.
This remarkable true story of grit and resilience depicts a family at their zenith, set against the spectacular backdrop of rural Queensland where life and death are never far apart.
But not even the harshness of the Australian landscape can prepare them for what is to come.”
I read it, was challenged by it and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is powerful writing. I recommend it to you.Tags: #60plus, #blogs, #euthanasia, #reading, #twopoofsandapoodle, #writing