Monday, December 11, 2006

What should I pray for?

My ninety three year old, dementia striken grandmother had a heart attack a week ago and as a result a hole was ripped in her heart. The doctors gave her twenty four hours to live. They told us that we should just let her die. But she is conscious and responds to us.

My mom was not able to just let her die, and so she told them that even though she will not put her on a respirator or feeding tube or take extraordinary measures, she wants the hospital to keep giving her the heart medication and the oxygen and the IVs.

So last week was the initial shock, and then the preparation for the death of a very close, very beloved family member, and now this weird holding pattern that our whole family is in. My mom already has hopes that this will just go on indefinitely. I don't think this is possible. But I also agree with her that we cannot just let her die. Every moment she is with us is still very precious.

So, back to my original question. What should I pray for? R'fua shleima? Or a painless death? Or do I not pray at all , and just stay in this low-level anxiety state?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a similar situation. I believe you are not supposed to pray for an impossible miracle, so maybe refuah shlemah is not appropriate here. Maybe you should just pray that God should do whats best. Of course thats weird, because being God, why wouldn't he? And thats the problem with prayer. Maybe prayer is for your nbenefit, not hers. In which case, you should pray for whatever makes you feel good.

December 11, 2006 7:54 PM  
Blogger kishnevi said...

Pray that when the end comes, everyone is able to accept that it is the end, and that until then, that your grandmother be as comfortable and comforted as possible.

Or, if you want a deeper level, pray that you pray for what HaShem wants.

December 11, 2006 7:56 PM  
Blogger Shoshana said...

I thought I had written about this at some point, but I think it must have been a comment on another blog, cuz I can't find it. I think you just have to pray that Hashem makes everything easy and the way it is supposed to be. It's very hard to know exactly what to ask for, but I guess it helps to think that someone up there does.

December 11, 2006 8:25 PM  
Blogger The back of the hill said...

Pray that you and your family members have the strength to bear with the situation, and that what happens be merciful.

Pray that the good memories last. And that you have the strength to revisit them, as memory has to be active to work.

December 13, 2006 6:27 PM  
Blogger Irina Tsukerman said...

Hmm, I really am not sure what you should be praying for, because I think one's attitude towards life and death is an extremely individual one, and no one can tell you what's the "best" thing to ask for in such a situation. So maybe you should just stick with whatever you feel right, no matter how you word it.

December 15, 2006 11:03 AM  

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