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Passing • Posted: Jan 08, 2012 14:31:53Comments WelcomeVote CoolPhotoblogsPurchase a PrintShare

A friend writes: "Yesterday I saw an empty gurney outside a room with an empty body bag laying on top of it. Today I saw a body for the first time as two young attendant's wheeled it through the hallway past the kitchen. It gets closer and closer, this thing called death. I feel it in the halls, in the body language of the families, and at times in the silence that permeates this place."

"This morning I sat on my mother's bed, dressed and ready to leave the house. I was looking at a photograph hanging on the wall of her and her mother, from several years ago. She was radiant in her smile, tanned and toned. I realized her once strong arms would never embrace me again, her smile would never be as bright. I was overcome. I started crying. I couldn't help it."

"I found my new friend Sharon in need of me today as I was getting coffee in the kitchen. Her husband is in the last stages of dying. They can't control his pain. He has broken both arms and a hip from the uncontrollable motion and the cancer weakening his bones. We sat and talked outside while she smoked. She so desperately needed to be held and soothed."

"Sharon is having a bad day today. She came and found me at the computer. They'd told her that her husband most likely has only hours to live. I held her while she sobbed. Her body shook, tears falling on my shoulder. I told her it was OK, and held her. This poor woman loves her husband so. I feel so minuscule in this whole process."

"Mom got sick three times last night, even with the trans-dermal medication. Her breathing is worse today, and she is still in bed, too weak to sit up. I read a lot to her yesterday, and some today. Sharon's husband is still with us. She is exhausted from staying up all night."

"I met Sharon's husband. I took a hand-written card to her, telling her how meeting her has affected me, thanking her. Sharon asked if I would like to meet Tim, her husband, since he was lucid at the moment. I was taken aback by how young a man he is. I took his hand, even though both arms are broken. He was able to squeeze in lieu of a handshake. I told him how beautiful his wife is, both inside and out, what a good friend she has been to my mom and me."

"Dr. just told mom thirty days or less, most likely less. She can't keep any food down."

"I saw Sharon yesterday. Tim was still hanging on, "waiting" for his brother to get here, but less and less lucid. Sharon and I had one of the strangest conversations, about bodies."

"Mom and I talked about her acceptance of dying this morning. Kind of emotional, but she's OK with it. She had me read some philosophy stuff to her, about dying, and God. If mom's OK with this, maybe I will be too."

"Sharon just found me. He's passed. I stayed with her and Tim until the family came. She wouldn't let them close his eyes."

Thursday, January 28th, 2010