While in Colombia in early December, I read a conspicuously short book in Spanish, anticipating that I wouldn’t have much time to read but also making the effort to keep my Spanish-reading-brain alive. I ended up reading the novel over night, at my husband’s icy family farm, two hours out of Bogotá.
The book is about euthanasia. It is about a painter whose son has such a bad car accident that the kid is left alive, but wanting to die.
As I’ve watched my father cling to life during these past few years — getting better for brief spurts of near enjoyment, only to end up disoriented and uncomfortable in a hospital bed — I think more and more about euthanasia. About how much I would embrace it. About how much I want my death to be quick and uneventful. About how illness causes families to make each other feel like shit by means of “The Suffering Game.”
The “Game,” being a guilt game, always needs a victim, never truly has a winner. I do not want this “Game” to be played in my name. Nor do I want to cling to life on a hospital bed. There is nothing better than a guest who knows when to leave. Well, we are guests here and we cannot be tricked by our advanced medicine, who wears the skirt of happy host, and insists that we, please, just stay another night.
Anyway, for those who read Spanish, the book I read in December is called “La luz difícil,” or “The Difficult Light.” It is by Colombian author Tomas González, who deserves to be much more famous than he barely is.
Above is a loving passage from the novel that tells of a time before the tragic accident had occurred.