What do you do when there is no hope,
When the disease that you have in incurable?
They can buy you some time with surgery and treatment Ė
But how much time
And at what cost.
The treatment itself can be hard on the system
And offers no real guarantee;
Iíve seen others go through it and Iím not so sure
That itís the right course for me.
What do you do when dreams fall apart
And your plans for the future cannot be fulfilled?
When you know youíre facing the worst of the worst Ė
Youíre not prepared
For the hand youíve been dealt,
And the battle ahead seems to be all uphill.
Increasing frustration sets in;
Your spirits are low and you question the point
Of trying to do anything.
What do you do when youíre feeling alone
And youíre wondering what happens next?
It feels like no one understands your situation Ė
Friends come to visit,
Unsure what to say;
And youíre shocked by the pity you see in their eyes.
Though youíre grateful they think of you;
You might be better off if they left you alone
To deal with it in your own way.
What do you do when the end is in sight
And you feel that your life is just slipping away?
For you know that this battle is one you canít win Ė
How long will it take
And how bad will it get
Before you decide you canít take any more?
The pain is unbearable but morphine kills the brain.
Youíre damned if you donít and damned if you do Ė
Itís a real Ďcatch twenty-two.í
© 2017 Fay Herridge
Published in Canadian Stories, Apr/May 2017
Note: This poem was inspired by the Canadian TV series Mary Kills People, a show that deals with euthanasia. It was
posted on Facebook and received the following comment from Cameron Pictures: