My sister wants to die, and here’s why.
When dealing with death, most often as children we are used to it being relatives who are decades older, and it is difficult to imagine someone not even hitting 40 yet actually desiring death.
But it is happening here and now, and it is happening to my sister.
In my parents’ brood, we are four girls, and although we were born with fairly large age gaps between us, we’ve all always been close.
When my second eldest sister was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in her late twenties, the effects of the disease weren’t as intense.
She would get the occasional cramp or needles in her feet, but with a shot of insulin and a little rest she’d be okay.
Then towards the middle of the year, her kidneys started to deteriorate, and it was a blow unlike any other to my family.
The dialysis exams, the constant monitoring of her liquid intake, and getting into fights over her constant need to still smoke a cigarette or two were constant occurrences at home.
I’d find myself in between classes getting a text from one of her children to ‘please come take me out somewhere, mommy is in a bad mood with the caregiver,’ and I’d have to see my nephew’s little face age just a little more everyday thinking about what his mother must be going through, and how it is affecting their relationship.
Then one day, my sister just collapsed. It was good timing I was at home from college, and as I grabbed her by the hand to help pull her up, she screamed.
I saw her index and pinky fingers spurt pus: they were actually almost rotten.
We got her to the hospital quickly enough, and it was there that she ‘fessed up she accidentally burned her hand while cooking when hot oil spit at her.
She hid it from us in an effort to not stress us out any further, especially our parents, who she had to move back to again to when managing her condition and her kids alone proved difficult.
Her burned fingers had quickly developed gangrene, because in the case of most diabetics, their injuries do not heal normally.
Of course it had to be amputated, but the aftermath of losing even just half a limb is never that simple.
I once saw in her browser pages that had to with managing pain, the best types of painkillers, and shockingly, how best to overdose on them.
I decided to have a heart-to-heart talk with her, and she admitted to me she wants to die.
It has a lot to do with the chronic pain, her opinion that she was hideous and useless, and her kids were also stressed out by her, she said.
I am heartbroken at her ultimatum.
Of course there is nothing left to do but to watch her more closely in the coming days, and hope for peace as we all come to grips with her condition.