Sadly, I just heard that one of Legon's residents has died. Of all the home visits we made, we spent the greatest amount of time with her. Speaking barely above a whisper, she tried to pull something from us that I don't think we could have provided. I think she just wanted her will to return, her will to do things that would have made it possible for her to continue to live. But, she was immobilized and frozen. She had stopped eating and had stopped keeping a fire in the house.
We asked the right questions: was there family (yes, two young children, a brother), could the community help (no more than it had already done), what had worked in the past, etc. She had been hospitalized for a diagnosis of depression in the past, but whatever gains were made were soon lost and she always returned to this vegetative-like state.
Perhaps there was some underlying disorder that was the cause of this horrible situation, this psychological paresis. Maybe she had some metabolic disorder. I remember once being asked to consult on a woman who stopped talking and stopped taking care of herself. She was suffering from extremely low calcium. But certainly, the hospital doctors would have worked these things up. Doctors as far back as the nineteenth century may have called this "aboulia", a disease of the brain involving the frontal lobes, or perhaps the basal ganglia. We don't know.
In the end, I'm not sure of the cause of her death. Was it depression? Did she die of suicide? Was this a result of brain injury? Her children, what would become of them? Lama la asked if Bodhi Seeds could help. How?
Ahh...My heart wishes there could have been a different outcome.