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Grandma should be left to die

5 5 1908
13.01.2018

EMMA YOUNG

Last updated 05:01, January 13 2018

Grandma on her 90th birthday, blowing out a candle (with a bit of prompting).

OPINION: I remember the first of many times Grandma told me, "Emma, if I ever lose my mind, remember: I want them to just shoot me."

She had just picked me up from school. I remember her emphatic South African accent as she parked her little yellow Datsun 120Y in her villa's sun-blazed driveway.

Hitler invaded Poland when Grandma was 13. She fled with her mother to Russia, where her mother worked in the salt mines. When Russia fell in with Germany, they fled again. They basically walked to Iran (then Persia). They were moved to India and then settled in Zambia (then Northern Rhodesia). Grandma brought her three children up in Zambia. Later, she moved to Zimbabwe.

Grandma on Sunday.

When I was four years old, Grandma moved again, following my uncle and my mother to Australia. She bought the neat brick villa and intended to die in it. She was not a cheery woman, but she was intelligent and strong-willed.

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Grandma and I around 2005.

Despite this, she has not had any real choices since developing dementia more than five years ago. She is almost 93 and has spent the past four years in a nursing home. She has forgotten the existence of the spotless, quiet little villa with its carefully tended garden, and mercifully forgotten her rage and grief at being forced to leave it.

The facility is not the worst place of its kind. It's clean, the staff are nice. But more than a year ago, Grandma was moved to the........

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