When I got the call she wasn’t feeling well and that her blood pressure was dropping I headed to the ER to join her youngest son in the ‘discovery’ process that involved blood work, x-rays, etc.
She was cheerful, considering all that was happening. She was totally willing for the tests to be done and cooperative with the poking and jostling around, but she was frequently letting her requests be known. “I want to go home! I’m tired. I’m done. I just want to go on home.”
A kind employee said, “Well, it might be safer for you to be where you could have assistance with your care.”
My darling, precious ninety year old friend opened her eyes and replied with a dainty smile, “I want to go to my Heavenly Home, not my house.”
And with this she also began to speak of family members who were waiting for her. As her devoted son was attending to paperwork, I had the honor of listening. She shared with me about her childhood with such pride. She said she was her grandfather’s favorite grandchild because she was the one who would retrieve items for him.
She shared memories of their farmhouse, the water they had to draw from the well, the large garden’s bounty to be canned and stored in the cellar, the feisty chickens and gathering their eggs, how loving her Mother was, the huge concrete front porch. Then she matter-of-factly stated, “I’ve been visiting with my Dad and there are angels all around us.”
I never tell anyone that they are hallucinating when they tell me they are seeing relatives who have ‘transitioned’ or seeing angels! I pay respectful attention!
“It won’t be long now.” She said with simple faith and not a smidgen of fear.
The local wonderful ER doctor was efficient and kind as were the nurses and other hospital staff. They were gentle, respectful, and patient with her need to express any comments!
Later that day I arrived at her place of top quality care for Hospice and loving family and friends visits. I’ve had the great fortune of being with now eight of her family members in their ‘transitioning’ time over the past 25 years. This family knows how to escort dear ones to their Heavenly Home!!
Again I was impressed with the Hospice team and the Hospice team’s physician, nurses, and chaplain. Great folk!! They listened to her requests that she plainly stated early on. They honored her with expert care and compassion.
But above all I am so proud of how this family honored their Mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt, by their ‘being present’ and offerings of tender care.
Can there be a good death? That is a book in itself!! But with all I’ve witnessed over the years and all of us knowing we shall not escape this ourselves, we do hope for a good death.
These dear ones in these most recent days made sure someone was with her all the time, reassuring her that she was not alone. They so lovingly and expertly addressed her physical needs, shared stories of fond memories, thanked her for her love, praised her for being such a truly good Mother, grandmother, etc., painted her nails, warmed her blankets, sang her favorite hymns, prayed over her, stroked her clammy brow, reminded her of God’s great love for her.
Bless them!! As much as there possibly can be…it was a good death because of their Love!!