Many thanks for the recent article by Viji Sundaram, entitled, "An India-West Special Report: As Death Approaches, Older Indian Americans Unprepared for the End,” emphasizing the importance of having an Advanced Care Directive.
Having come from India myself, I can well understand Mrs. Bhatia's reluctance to take this hard and painful decision. A few years ago, I had to face a similar situation when my dear husband had Parkinson's disease and was on the brink of life and death.
Years ago, before that, we had made our wills and given each other authority "to pull the plug” if and when the time came. Unfortunately for me, he got sick first, and I nursed him for several years. But then came a time when his health started to go down fast.
Finally, our family doctor asked me to take the hardest decision of my life. Of course, I did not want to take that decision, but then I could not bear to see him suffer also. So I prayed and prayed and asked for God's guidance. I knew if my husband could talk, he would have asked me to let him ago.
I also believe in the law of ‘Karma’, which tells us to do our duty but not to expect the fruits of your deeds. It also reflects the saying, “Whatever will be will be.”
Shri Krishna advised Arjun to fight for the good of all as there was no peaceful means of solving the problems that are left. We old people live in the past, whereas the young generation lives in the present and thinks of the future.
Therefore, I have to agree with Mrs. Bhatia's daughter. I am sure she also loves her father and wants the best for him. Death is the final stage of existence in this world. So why not make it less stressful for all?
I would also suggest to talk openly (when making will), or write down one’s desire for what type of funeral and memorial we want so there is no argument afterwards. May God give the Bhatia family and others in a similar predicament the strength to go through this agony.