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On the Death of a Parent

July 15, 1988

I recently lost my mother to cancer, and many painful and difficult decisions had to be made along the way. Before the very end, Mom had told me of her desire to die with dignity and in peace. She also told this to the doctors. Thankfully, I was spared the decision Jerry Hulse had to make ("A Son Faces Painful Choices at Mother's Moment of Crisis," Other Views, July 10).

However, as she deteriorated, both physically and mentally, things just kept popping up. As an independent 64-year-old, my mother did not want to stay with my family. She had just sold her house in preparation for her retirement to the desert. She couldn't move to her place in the desert, the doctors she trusted weren't there, as well as many of her close friends and family. In the end I had to conclude a nursing home was our best option.

The nursing home selection was very difficult. Will Rogers never met a man he didn't like and I never met a nursing home I did. I don't know what I expected, but I soon discovered each home had one thing in common. Despite the best efforts of nurses and staff to do the best they can, each home contained the aroma, feel and look of death and loneliness.

I want to thank Hulse for his article. It helped bring some tears to my eyes, tears that hadn't been shed since before the funeral. All the choices and responsibilities of her illness and eventual death have made it difficult to mourn the passing of a very special lady and mother. I think he has helped.

DOUG BELL

Chino

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