When a loved one is sick and miserable it can break your heart and you would do anything in your power to help that loved one. I remember many nights when my children were babies and were up at night due to teething, tummy aches and fevers. Even now that they are older, they still sometimes come to me in the middle of the night with an ailment or a worry or a bad dream. As a mother I would take their cup of suffering in an instant if I could. I’m sure that many of you can relate!
And not just our children either. Almost five years ago, the day after Thanksgiving my family received a huge “blow” when we learned that my mother, the matriarch of our family, our very backbone, was diagnosed with breast cancer. We were shaken to say the least. As her daughter I would have done anything I could to help her. And I did! For example, driving all over two towns (with a toddler) looking high and low for green Kool-Aid, because my mother was certain that that was the only thing that would taste good to her. Thankfully, my mother has been cancer free for nearly five years, and will soon be able to say she is cancer free! What a blessing! And quite honestly, I would have driven across two STATES to find her that Kool-Aid!
But, could you, would you go a step farther? If your loved one was suffering so badly and nothing could be done, would you help that loved one end his or her life to stop the pain and the suffering and the sickness?
In the episode, Not Another Monday in season five of The Golden Girls, Sophia is faced with this very dilemma when her friend Martha, played by Geraldine Fitzgerald wants to end her life. Martha wants Sophia to be with her when her when the life drains out of her. Sophia has mixed emotions about helping her friend end her life. It goes against everything Sophia believes in and tries to talk Martha out of it. When Martha is determined to end her own life, Sophia reluctantly agrees to be with her. In the end, Martha has a change of heart and Sophia is able to talk her into giving her life a second chance.
In 1986, Golden Girl Bea Arthur was faced with the same dilemma! Her mother, Rebecca Frankel was nearly deaf and blind and no longer wanted to live. In an interview with A&U magazine, Bea stated that her mother “’ had all her marbles, she was in great shape, but she was almost totally deaf and almost totally blind, and really just wanted out’”. A doctor from the Netherlands gave Bea his support and advice and Bea did what she thought she had to do. In the same article, Bea told the reporter that had she not been in the show business she most likely would have run a hospice.
I will not go into detail about how I feel personally on this issue! The Golden Girls, both the show and the actual “girls” mean a great deal to me! I mean, it is truly my favorite show of all time and I never tire from watching it. However I am glad that in Not Another Monday, Martha decided to give life another chance!