Voluntary Euthanasia

Why is it impossible in Australia
To have the peace of mind
Legalised Voluntary Euthanasia
Would bring
Preachers and politicians
Puritans and pseudo carers
Believe they know what is right
For a person they’ve never met
Where were these paragons of public good
When the small child was being
That child through
Shear force of will
Grew to adulthood
Found precious unconditional love
Learnt she was worthy
Entitled to make choices
Grew to love fiercely
Survived the not wanting to survive
After the death of her husband and son
Worked to help others
Who were broken by bereavement
Seared by suicide
She now lives alone in her sanctuary home
Traversing the steep learning curve
That comes with
Life limiting illness
Trying to find her new normal
Amidst the relentless slipping away of
With age and growing disability
And the absence of her husband’s loving support
Her childhood vulnerability
Fears and flashbacks sporadically assail her
She still has a wicked sense of humour
Finds joy in small things
Plays in her fashion
Listens with empathy
To friends and family
Writes to reach out
Shares her thoughts and feelings
Hopefully helping herself and others
In the process
Yet she knows
In the depth of her being
There is one thing she will never again do
Submit herself to the vagaries and vulnerability
Of institutional life
No more hospitals
Her last two hospital stays
Were punctuated by unnecessary suffering
Lack of empathy
Attempted religious manipulation
No care facility for her
Just the thought of them
Brings back her boarding school terrors
She loves her home carers
On bad days
She panics
Fears losing these wonderful empathetic women
For she knows
Without their help
She’d have to leave her home
That’s why she wants
The right to voluntary euthanasia
Not for right now
It’s the peace it would bring
She’d never again have to fear
Being at the mercy of the merciless

Tricia 2014

About triciabertram

I have written all my life. Writing helps me to make sense of a world I often don’t understand. Poetry is my supreme solace, closely followed by literature and music. When my son ended his life in 1999 I embarked on the most difficult journey of my life, my grief journey. To survive in this unknown, harsh landscape I had to write. It was for me, the only way I could even begin to move forward. Then in 2009 my darling husband died suddenly and so my journey continues. I write about other issues but because of my life experience, grief and death are continuing themes in my writing life. In our culture I believe there is a fear of death, an inability to accept the inevitability of our mortality, and this creates enormous difficulties for the bereaved and those around them. I have begun this blog in the hope I will create a small ripple in the pond of fear that is currently drowning the reality of death and grief. I will continue to skim the stones of my truth, watch them bounce, and see how many ripples I can make.

Posted on November 11, 2014, in Poems. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. When one is not given a choice that feeling of being ‘trapped’ becomes evermore prevalent.

  2. Very profound Tricia. I hope it is a very long time before you consider that right.

  3. I learn more about you every time you write, Tricia–the childhood terrors an entirely new layer of discovery. I think you speak for a lot of people with the lament that dying with dignity isn’t a universally accepted option. I’m sure you were closely following Brittany Maynard’s love-surrounded death in Oregon. She certainly turned on the light for a lot of people and I wonder what may in time become more accessible in other American states and perhaps in your country, Tricia. I would support anything that would give you more peace of mind. I, too, am very glad to hear you have loving carers. What a difference they must make. Hugs, my friend. ox

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