My father did not die peacefully in his sleep

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:, or follow me on Twitter.

The Onion has a reputation for humor that cuts close to the bone, and this really hits me hard:

‘Your Father Died Peacefully In His Sleep,’ Assures Hospice Nurse Who Spent Past 6 Months Watching Man Wither Away In Agony

In an attempt to console the family of the deceased, Mountain View Hospice nurse Sam Bakshi—who watched his patient wither away for half a year in unrelenting torment—told relatives of the late Dennis Ridges on Tuesday that the man had died peacefully in his sleep. “I know this is a difficult time, but I wanted you to know that when Dennis left us, he was resting comfortably in bed,” said Bakshi, who has spent nearly every day since July listening to Ridges howl in agony, culminating with him convulsing violently and going into cardiac arrest despite several frantic attempts to resuscitate him. “You should take comfort in knowing that it was a very gentle way to go. I’d even call it a best-case scenario, given the circumstances.” Bakshi went on to tell relatives that Ridges, who by the end was rendered completely incoherent by a powerful cocktail of painkillers and sedatives, had spent his last waking hours sending his love to each and every family member by name.

I had almost exactly this problem with the staff that took care of my father. They kept trying to reassure us, but I didn’t give a damn about their reassurances, all that mattered to me was that they give more pain killers to my father, so he wouldn’t be in so much pain. And for some reason, it was always a fight to get him more pain killers. They seemed worried that he would become an addict, which seemed like an odd concern once he had been declared terminal, and the doctors felt he only had a few more weeks to live.

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