caregiver, family

The Longer Goodbye

My Miss Brenda has taken a few turns for the worse but no one prepares you for hospice or the hospice call including date of death.

I took the news calmly. But did question their all knowing practical knowledge of date and time of one’s passing. “How do you know?” “Are you sure?” “What makes you so positive?” They answered all with the confidence of seeing this before and in my head, I knew they had. Obviously.

My mom was a player in life pushing every physical limit and doing alot of damage to one’s body. Before my parents parted ways, they were quite the twosome, in their partying ways. My dad got sober. My mother. Never. So this early demise of body should not surprise, but it did.

No tears flowed after my hospice conversation. Very stoic and processing what I questioned but my strong exterior allowed me to create Frosty day, early birthday celebration, and just visits. On the otherside I was in constant contact with hospice. I knew everything at all times. Little pieces of me were breaking away as I focused on how to make the end “nice.”

A week into this personal journey hospice called again. “She improving.” “It’s a miracle.” This time I had no questions, just relief. Knowing full well that tomorrow is another day and yet another possibility of that phone call. While they predict the end of life to the minute. They do admit the miracles astound them. So, for right now My Miss Brenda is doing OK. Still under hospice care but not a patient with a date and time stamped in their file.

On my last visit. I cried. It hit me that she is alone with her TV and a bunch of health care techs and nurses. That’s it. She is alone with her thoughts and confusions and the reconciliation of her choices in life. While I am very close by, she is still alone. Driving home in tears, I realized that this is the world she built. She chose distance and still keeps me at arms length, but all her choice. When she does let me in, it is nice. It’s fleeting but it’s nice.

So me and my lady have more time. This will give both of us the time we need to truly say goodbye.

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