Would You Do it for Love?

I stumbled upon The Most Beautiful Death in StumbleUpon.  It is a letter from Letters of Note.  It is a letter by Laura, the wife of Aldous Huxley, a novelist, who was diagnosed with cancer in 1960.  Laura was asked by Aldous to administer him with LSD* while he was passing away.

I felt for Laura during the times she had witnessed her husband’s ordeal.  Who would not be bothered seeing your husband agitated with pain?

Aldous began to be so agitated, so uncomfortable, so desperate really.

He couldn’t express himself but he was feeling dreadul, nothing was right, no position was right. I tried to ask him what was occurring. He had difficulty in speaking, but he managed to say, “Just trying to tell you makes it worse.” He wanted to be moved all the time – “Move me.” “Move my legs.” “Move my arms.” “Move my bed.” I had one of those push-button beds, which moved up and down both from the head and the feet, and incessantly, at times, I would have him go up and down, up and down by pushing buttons. We did this again, and somehow it seemed to give him a little relief. but it was very, very little.

I think nobody wanted to see a loved one in pain.  We had had, Papsie and I, witnessed a lot of last minute moments with the dying, and it is such an agony.  And Laura did her best for Aldous to give him relief and peace by administering LSD and other meds.  I would like to understand she did the administering of LSD because of love.  I would like to sympathize that she would do all for Aldous.

If you will ask me if I will do it, I will, if only to ease the pain.  Because it would not matter anymore if it is right or wrong.  During the days, and hours, and minutes, when death is nearing, there would not be anything much left but give my beloved relief from pain, or any liberation from the torture.

*LSD – Lysergic acid diethylamide; a hallucinogenic drug that acts on the serotonin receptor.

4 thoughts on “Would You Do it for Love?

  1. My sister told me that in my Mom's last hours, she was overly sedated to ease the pain. My father was in the next room and only went to see her when they announced that she passed away. We knew my father loved my Mom very much. He just couldn't bear the pain of seeing her suffer.

    I guess, Laura felt the same but she is a woman. And women are stronger when it comes to dealing with pain and suffering.


  2. watching not only a loved one suffer, but anyone suffer for that matter, is probably one of the worst feelings in the world. to me, when anybody in the family goes to the hospital, i can't stand it.

    i still question my choice of degree to this day. tsk, tsk.

    as for the LSD, i'd do that – i mean, morphine and coccaine are used in the hospital, why not LSD?


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