She Knew All Along

Someone told us that it was okay to lie to the patient about the nature and seriousness of his or her conditions; telling the truth would only aggravate the situation. And that was what we had decided to do to our late mother in the middle of last year when she was diagnosed with 70% lung cancer.

The doctor disclosed to us that our mother had only 3 months to live. It was up to us whether to break the truth to her or not.

Everyone was shocked and didn't know what to do.

We then had a round-table meeting. It was a difficult decision because it involved our dear mother who had single-handedly brought us up 35 years ago after the death of our father. A decision was finally made: We were to keep her from knowing the truth as best as we could.

I never knew it could be that tough to show a cheerful face when the heart was broken. I never knew that it could be that difficult to hold back the tears when the voice trembled with every encouraging word. Oh God, how can I lie to my own mother?

Behind our mother, in the dark corner... in the restroom... outside her room, much tears were shed and so much sadness continued to sink deep in the heart.

Then we had to dry up our tears, blew our nose, and cleaned our face before we went to attend to our mother.

She looked so calm as if she knew. But she was tight-lipped. After a while she would waved to us, and spoke softly to us. She reminded us to go home and attend to the needs of our family and work. Then she shook our hands and hugged us, and said good bye. Oh mom, you were still very strong and tough in your 80s.

Just how long could we hide the truth from her?

She was her normal self when she left us that day, but the signs were there. She was having difficulties breathing and she looked really thin and pale.

That night we were there in the hospital until 10.30. She recovered and she was once again calm. She bid us goodbye as it was late. We had some prayer sessions and we left her.

My two elder brothers continued to take care of her. At 2.00 in the morning, she held my sister-in-law seemingly thanking her for taking good care of her. She patted her on her back and she breathed her last...

She knew all along... but we lied.


Tetcha Gregorio-Figuerres said...

You had a tough decision to make back then, but it was all for the best.