Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Story about Dying

When my father was dying, his dying was awfully hard.  He had liver cancer, and in the hospital they gave him morphine to ease the pain, but the morphine did just the opposite.  It brought back memories of the war and his years as a slave laborer in the Buchenwald concentration camp. 

We sat in the hospital room with him trying to comfort him, but he thought we were German guards come to drag him to the ovens.  Dying, he became so frightened that he tried to crawl out of his bed.  Finally, two nurses had to strap him in to the bed.

My mother sat next to him then holding his hand, whispering “Janek, Janek,” the name his mother called him, but he still struggled, wept, tried to loosen the straps around his hands and feet.

In the corridor, there was some noise, and my mother looked up.  Four nurses stood there talking. One of them smiled and then laughed, and the others started laughing too.

My mother looked at me, nodded slowly, and said, “Half of us are going to the grave, and the other half are going to a wedding.”


Lucia May said...

A final, heartbreaking betrayal, that even in death your father did not have peace and release from his tormenters.

Gisèle Thibeault said...

So unbelievably sad. I have no words but I have lots of tears.

Gisèle Thibeault said...

So unbelievably sad. I have not words but I have lots of tears.

Carole said...

Absolutely rivoting! I hope your father's soul is at peace now and send him prayers that what happened to him in this life is released. Thank you for sharing your parents and the others lives with us today. I feel it is important to know these stories because our world has not yet learned the lessons of the past and that to shine a light of compassionate on them as you have is healing for our world.

Anonymous said...

My father was also a slave labourer. Reading your story just broke my heart.