Friday, January 7, 2011

The End of Forever


The End of Forever, a book written by Lurlene McDaniel, actually has two novels in it. The first novel begins with two sisters, Erin and Amy, who are complete opposites of each other. Erin is very serious, always on time and in general she is a perfectionist. Amy on the other hand is very optimistic, outgoing and looks for the fun in life without thinking about the consequences. Erin and Amy are always fighting about something in which they can't see exactly eye to eye. They get into an argument over how late Amy was when they were supposed to be practicing their parts for the upcoming play. Despite the small dispute from the previous day both girls perform excellently in the drama club's performance. The cast has a party to celebrate the play's success. Unfortunately, they run out of pop at the party and Erin is asked to go pick up more. Amy talks Erin into letting her go run the errand instead of Erin because she had recently gotten her driver's license and can't wait to drive. Erin eventually agrees to let her little sister go and watches as she pulls out of the parking lot into the downpour of rain.
After awhile, Erin starts to worry that Amy still isn't back with the refreshments. So Erin and Travis (Amy's boyfriend) go out looking for her and when they don't find her, they decide to call home because Amy must have gone home instead. Panic truly sets in when she calls the home phone and no one answers. Back at the theater Erin hears the devastating words, " ... there's been an accident...it's Amy,Erin. Amy's been in a terrible wreck"(McDaniel 45).
Weeks pass at the hospital, and Amy never comes out of her coma and her brain activity slowly decreases. Erin and her family decide to donate Amy's organs because they feel that even though it is a horrible loss, at least someone might me able to benefit from the tragedy.
The second novel is called Time to Let Go, it begins with Erin talking to a therapist. Erin isn't exactly happy with going to the meetings but she feels that if she has any chance of leaving to go to her dream school in a few months she has to get rid of the horrible headaches that she is suffering from. Erin feels as though her parents should be forced to attend these meetings too because the entire family had fallen apart after Amy's death.
As Erin and the therapist search for answers to her mysterious headaches, Erin lands the lead role in a play and she meets David. Slowly Erin starts to like David because not only does he try to help her with her ongoing headaches but Erin begins to realize that David is like Amy in many ways. Erin finally allows herself to fully grieve and afterwards she realizes that her headaches are becoming less severe and less frequent. I won't ruin the ending for you, but I think that McDaniel ties the two novels together nicely.
I think that the major theme of this book is to enjoy everything in life and never take anything for granted because you don't know what the future holds.
1) In the novel, Amy and her parents have to make the hard decision of whether or not to turn off the machines that were keeping Amy alive. Would you ever be able to make a decision like that?
2) Do you feel that the family made the right decision, to turn off the machines, due to the fact that Amy was brain dead?
3) It takes Erin the entire novel to figure out the main cause to her headaches. Have you ever been so preoccupied with trying to keep other people happy that you end up causing yourself to suffer?

18 comments:

Amanda Z. 11-12 said...

1. I doubt I would be able to make that decision. There are too many contributing factors. She must be in pain, so it would be nice for her to let go and be in a better place, but, of course, no one wants to lose their family.
2. I think the family probably did make the right decision by turning off the machines because it had to be bleak, just looking at a girl who truly had nothing ahead of her.

Eric Y 13-14 said...

For question one, I really do not know what my decision would be as of right now. Depending on the person, if I knew what they would have wanted, that would probably have been the only way to turnoff the machines.
For two, assuming that Amy's brain was completely dead, or at least ot recovering in the slightest, I do agree that they made the correct decision because even if she did wake up, her life would be entirely different and she would most likely have the intelligence of challenged teenager,

Betsy C 1314 said...

To answer number one, I do not know if I could be able to make the decision to turn off the machine. It would be too tough of a decision to make. It could be something to regret for the rest of your life.

Erika B 13-14 said...

1. That is a tough decision to make, and I think the most important thing about making a decision as tough as this one is to remember that you cannot think solely about yourself, you have to think about the other person, too. If I knew someone in my family was laying in the hospital suffering and brain dead, as much as I would want to keep them in my life and with me forever, I would choose to let them go and turn off the machine. Unless there was a good chance they would be able to pull through, I do not believe the person suffering would want to continue to suffer for years to come.

2. I do believe that Amy's family made the right decision. As I said above, you have to remember to think about the person suffering from this. The family was sad about this choice, but it was the right one. Amy was not going to get better, and it was smart of them to not only put her out of her misery, but also donate her organs to someone who could desperately use them.

Hayley D 11/12 said...

I completely agree with what all of you said. I think that it would truly be the hardest decision of my life. Like Amanda said, no one wants to lose a family member but in this case I think I would have done exactly as the family chose to do because Amy was slowly getting worse and worse as the days went on. I think Erika is right though, you can't just think about yourself in a situation like this. And if you knew that the person wouldn't want to be kept on machines for the rest of their lives I would most likely do what the family chose to do. The family knew that Amy would have wanted someone else to benefit from the situation; therefore, I feel that they made the right decision to donate her organs, in order to help others.

Sydney C.13-14 said...

1. I think the only way i would be able to make a decision about turning off the life support would be if I were 100% convinced that my loved one could not come out of the coma, and then I would absolutely have their organs donated to help others.

allie s 11-12 said...

I don't know if I could make a decision like that. You never know what would happen if you leave the life support on, or off. So i doubt i could turn it off, unless like Sydney said i was 100% convinced, or i knew she was in pain. And i think they made the right decision to turn it off.

CorinneS5/6 said...

I think that if she is brain dead it is better to let her go than to drag out the horrible process of dying. I think that being able to let someone go shows how much you love them, and keeping them alive so that you can avoid grief is a selfish choice. I do not know that I would ever be able to make that decision, but I do hope if the time came that I would make the right one. So yes, I do feel like that family made the right decision, giveing her sister more time to grieve and accept her death before she went away to college.

I am frequently preoccupied with helping others and trying not to step on any toes. This is a natural habit in a persons life because people are compassionate creatures and we do care about the feelings of others, sometimes to the detriment of our own feelings. It is ok to care about others, but you can not stop thinking about caring fo yourself as well, no matter what bad things have happened to you or those around you.

Laura B. 13-14 said...

1) Personally, it would depend on who the person was if I would or would not be able to make a decision like that. To have the responsibility of ending someone's life that you know and love is a huge decision. This is such a big decision because you have to take into account that person's suffering and what they would have wanted in that particular situation.

2) I believe it was right of Amy's family to decide to turn off the machines because in all reality it was the machines keeping her alive, not Amy's body. If someone is dependent on a machine for more than two weeks I think it is fair to say that the person is mentally and physically dead and it was time to let her go.

Hayley D 11/12 said...

Corinne, I do the same thing, I spend all of my time trying to make everyone else happy. I agree that we should learn to take time out to take care for ourselves. Otherwise, it could be detrimental to our health like what happened to Erin in the novel.

Leah A 5-6 said...

1. I believe it would be a hard decision to make. I do not think I could personally make a decision that I may regret later in my life by pulling the plug.

Courtney R 5-6 said...

I think that if it came down to it, I would have to make a decision like that, whether or not I feel that I could. Sometimes life hands us difficult situations that you cannot ignore. You have to keep pushing through them because it's the only way to fully get out and be okay. If it came down to the health of my child or family memeber and I had to be the one to make the decision, I would consider the best option. If it is very likley the person will not live, I believe, as hard as it may be, that I would have to put an end to their suffering.

I feel the family did make the right decision, not only for their health and stability, but for Amy as well. She was in a coma and Amy was brain dead. There is no way to recover from that and keeping her alive would be a very selfish act. Amy's suffering ended when the decision was carried out and she could finally rest peacfully and painlessly for good.

I most definitely have been preoccupied trying to keep others happy while I suffer. Just as with Erin, it has taken me a while to realize what I had been doing to myself. In order to keep yourself healthy and your own best interests at heart, you sometimes have to put yourself first and it may hurt others. As long as you don't constantly hurt others to keep yourself in balance, you will be in a good place with yourself and you'll be happier.

Justin B. 11-12 said...

1. Yes, but I would have to approach it objectively to make what I believe is the right choice.

2. Yes, if someone is brain dead they can't talk, can't feel, can't move, can't think and will not ever be able to do anything again as we cannot grow them more brain cells (yet). At this poing Amy is basically the equivalent of a corpse whose heart and lungs are being kept working artificially, and so keeping her "alive" if you want to call it that is a waste of resources and the hospital's time, but I can understand why parents wouldn't want to pull the plug on their child's life support which is why I said I would have to approach the decision objectively. I know if I was brain dead I wouldn't want people wasting resources on me when they could go to someone who actually had a chance at living.

Kristen T. 11-12 said...

Being put in this type of situation, I feel that it would be very difficult to pull the plugs on Amy's life. Knowing that I had made the final choice to let a sibling die would be unbearable for me to live with. Under the given circumstances, however, I feel that they did make the right decision, which is what I likely would have done as well. It must have been difficult to do this, but this decision prevented Amy from having to suffer from the very severe effects of her accident.

Julie S. 5-6 said...

I think the family did make the right decision because Amy was pretty much dead anyways. And by doing what they did they could donate her organ and save other people's lives.

Kara K. 5/6 said...

1) It would be hard for me to make the decision, but if I had to, I would. It would take a lot of strength to do it though.
2)They did make the right decision to turn off the machines. It is a hard thing to do, but if someone is unable to live their life outside of a hospital room, then they are not going to get anything more out of their life. Once you realize that the person will not be able to be a real human anymore, then you know it is time for them to pass away. It was right for them to do this, because now they are able to donate all of Amy's organs to people who need them. They can save many of lives with Amy's organs.
3) I have had that happen to me before. I like making other people happy before myself. Like when friends are mad at me, i try my hardest to make them happy instead of me.

Heather M. 13-14 said...

To answer question 1, it would be a terribly hard decision to make, and it would be especially even harder to make a decision when you're dealing with all the emotions and stress of the situation. The decision to end someone's life for the better would never be an easy choice, no matter who are.

Mrs. Sherwood said...

Thread graded, closed.