Alive

Erica Lee
Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry
Class of 2015

Josedbey/iStock/Thinkstock

Josedbey/iStock/Thinkstock

I died, yet they resuscitate.
Keep me alive. Do what it takes.
Insert a line. Crush my chest.
Spare no expense, run every test.

Machines vibrate, blood gets drawn.
Force me to breathe as the days go on.
Desperate attempts, I will not inhale.
Life supported, yet my organs still fail.

I want this to end. Pull out these tubes.
Turn everything off. No more food.
Bound to this bed. Stuck in my head.
I wish to die as I’m already dead.

I made it clear before this day.
I would not want to live this way.
Every failed attempt worsens my pain.
Mine is a life you cannot sustain.

Remember the person that did exist.
Let those happy memories persist.
If not alive, what am I then?
Dying you see, I’ve come to the end.

Please take this last piece of advice.
Stop the drugs and withdraw the device.
Come to me, whisper your goodbye.
Give me peace, and let me die.

One thought on “Alive

  1. Gerald Ashe

    You have given a such a poetic voice to those who have and will die protracted “medicalized” deaths. This scenario is played out daily in every medical ward and ICU in the country. Even with an advanced directive our patients suffer greatly before they are ultimately allowed to die. It is incumbent on us as care givers to challenge both patients and families to face the inevitability of death and the futility of needless invasive treatment. We must ensure that we respect advanced directives and that we listen to the often muted cry of the dying. Prolonging death does not equate to prolonging life.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *