“I Don’t Want To Die” features Grandma, who is in her 80s, and doesn’t like getting old. Her mobility is severely decreased, and she has various pains and poor eyesight.
Jessica, the granddaughter, describes the last last years of Grandma’s life as she helps her mom, Linda, take care of her. During this, Jessica wonders why Grandma hates her wheelchair and who will take care of her when she becomes old.
During her tour of doctors, Grandma complained to an orthopedic about her hip pain. The ophthalmologist heard her complaints regarding her poor eye sight. The dentist listened to her long stories about how painful it was to chew. Finally, the cardiologist received her troubles about her persistent leg swelling.
In each instance, the doctor devised a plan of action. The last doctor made Grandma happy because she loved pills. Whenever a doctor recommended a prescription, she accepted it every time.
Why? Because pills were easy to take. Pills weren’t a needle or a procedure. Yet it never resolved her complaints. How can medicine stop the aging process? It can’t. The result of the repeated failures angered Grandma.
What Made Me Write I Don’t Want To Die?
I wrote this story because my family is currently dealing with my cranky grandma who isn’t aging well. Actually, that is an understatement: My grandma is basically livid with growing old. She hates her joints don’t work well anymore, and she can’t walk well. So this short story has bits of truth spread all throughout.
Watching my grandma progress through her elderly years unhappy and angry made me think about what would happen not only with myself but with my own mother. As my mom takes care of my grandma (her mother), I will have to take care of her one day. However, my mom already told my brother and I that she won’t be so angry.
Another result of writing this story is facing the truth about aging, how we regard our elderly in America, and how one should prepare for old age. I know I can’t depend on anyone else to help me when I’m old. While that fact is sobering, this is a fact many old people face every day. My grandma knows she’s lucky to have my mom because she didn’t put my grandma into an old folks home. My mom is currently a CNA in a nursing home and she tells me how the families of her patients hardly visit them. Even though it can be difficult to visit my grandma at time, I do because it makes her happy.
Finally, I wrote this story to hopefully get people to think about when they become elderly. I’m currently 39 at the time of this post, and it will be a long time before I’m my grandma’s age, but my “Golden Years” will sneak up faster than expected. I need to prepare not only financially but also physically and mentally.
Where Can You Find This Story?
You can download a sample of the short story below (in PDF format). The full story is in the “Seven Short Stories” collection on Amazon for $2.99.