A message from Sam’s dad.

A message from Sam’s dad.

Buried Alive

What we are going through right now feels like torture. It is an agonizingly slow suffering, one that saps every ounce of energy and joy and hope out of you. It feels like a nightmare that won’t end. It’s suffocating—like being buried alive. I can now fully understand some of the atrocity of war and famine and disease and the emotional and physical suffering brought on by it. Previously, safe in my (western capitalist democratic) cocoon, I could only imagine the effects of such things; now I am living it.

Each new day brings with it both immense joy that Sam is still alive and tremendous anguish from watching him live life as he must now. Each day, it seems, we are sentenced to watch our son die.

Not very long ago I had resolved not to do this. I had promised myself (and my family) that I would cherish each moment spent with Sam and had determined not to sit around and feel sorry for ourselves, but instead to live life and celebrate the precious moments we had with him.

On paper that sounds so good. In reality it is hardly practicable. We can no longer do anything with Sam. We can barely communicate with him. We spend each moment waiting with bated breath for something to happen. When he tries to speak we desperately struggle to hear what he is trying to say—we don’t want him to suffer or want for anything for even a moment. We do whatever we can to comfort him—a sip of water, a spoonful of applesauce, a syringe of medicine—and then we settle back down to more watching and waiting.

Buried alive again.

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