You had been with me since the day I was born. You helped me wash my teeth when I was too young to and told me a story every night before I fell asleep. You were there for as long as I remember. In your stories, you took me on adventures far from here, to places not everyone knows like the tall cold mountains, the dry savannas, and the cold arctic.
Everyone looked up to you for whatever you did, whether it was cooking, cleaning, or even helping a stranger. You did it differently. You made it all seem so much better than when someone else did it.
You were the hero of our books. You were the light of our days. Everyone wanted to be you, and you were the role model for us.
I don’t know what happened to you, but one day, you got that terrible disease. The doctors told us that you were going to perish in around a year, but I never believed that. You always came back to us when times got tough, so I believed, I believed that you would survive.
As the days went by, you got worse. You started thrashing around so hard in pain that people in the hospital could hear you. I tried to tell you to stop, but your face was blank. You acted like we weren’t there, and we could see the pain in your eyes.
In the moments you were yourself, you told us that you couldn’t handle it anymore, that the disease was spreading and taking over your body. I became so sad. Barely anyone knew about your pain and suffering.
In the few days you were yourself, you told us you couldn’t fight the pain any longer, but we couldn’t do anything. We had to stay there and watch you suffer the excruciating pain.
The disease had crippled you. You couldn’t move. You felt ashamed as you had also lost your continence. “There is nothing to be ashamed of,” we would tell you when we changed you, and you would shed sad tears in response. You could barely move your lips; but Grandma, your eyes spoke the words.
You asked us to help you go. I saw the misery in your eyes. I felt the agony in your frail hands, but our hands were tied. What could we have done?
So, you drank every drop of pain until you gave up your soul. We failed you. Canada failed you.
How could anyone bear such excruciating pain? How could doctors just sit there for months and not do anything? Would you be able to go through my Grandma’s nightmare, knowing that there is no light? What a pointless endeavour!
Grandma, you weren’t the only one, nor will you be, unless we make up our minds and cast aside our unfounded bias. Otherwise, many a grandma and grandpa will lie on the very same bed on which you were literally crucified.
Your Grandson, Little Michael