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Lewy Body Journal: Our Family's Experience with Lewy Body Disease
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Journal Contents

12. "I Want to Die"

Mother had periods of confusion and periods of relative lucidity. Once or twice, during a lucid period, she would tell one of us that she wanted to die. Having your mother say this to you is hard. She said this to each of us on at least one occasion. Here is roughly how such a conversation went:

Mother: "I want to die."

Us: "Why?"

Mother: "I don't want to be a burden on anyone."

Us: "Don't worry about that. We'll take care of you."

Mother: "I want to kill myself."

Us: "It can be hard to kill yourself."

Mother: "That's why you have to help me."

"Mother: 'I don't want to be a burden on anyone'"
At that point it would have been impossible for Mother to have killed herself, simply because of her physical incapacity. Also, her lucid moments were fleeting, and this sentiment probably wouldn't have occurred to her during a nonlucid moment. During her lucid moments, when she could have been aware of her condition and where she was headed, her sentiment is understandable. But life is precious, and at that point she was still able to have some enjoyment of life from time to time. Later, it became less clear whether Mother had moments of enjoyment. Of course, none of us could help our Mother die at any time.
11. The Wheelchair Ramp
13. Hygiene and Dental Care
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