He had no living will. He’d never talked about his death beyond his scheming to keep the government from receiving a penny of his penny collection. He’d been one of the most verbally abusive men I’d ever met and by sheer bile alone you’d think he would have melted right there on his hospital bed, and yet he was still breathing by way of modern technology. His children and even grandchildren had been twisted by the man into people with “issues”, but none of them was willing to step up and speak for the family as to his future, or lack of it.
It was not pity nor fear; fear of what he might think or if revenge might drive their decision. And it was not a true confusion about what he might have wanted. His two sons and daughter simply did what they had learned to do when confronted by his shadow; they withdrew, to an inner place, not a happy one necessarily but one free from confrontation, from anxiety, from the death of dreams.
The doctor made his speech and asked his questions, and all was silent. Three pair of eyes turned to me, an outsider, but one who had done this thing before. I pulled the plug, because I could.