As I sit here in the dark listening to my grandmother breathe, wondering if this will be her last, I am at peace with this process. I know that she can hear me when I calmly speak to her and that she is aware of my presence next to her. There is a sense of calm as she lay in her own bed comfortable and free from pain. She is no longer bound by the chains that have kept her down and she appears calm and at rest. Her breath is slow and faint then it picks back up again. Images of her as a young, radiant woman keep popping into my head and I find my self reliving the memories we shared together. I lean into her to tell her one last time, “Grandma, I love you. You have served this life well.” Tears are streaming down my face and I am scared to fall asleep because she may be gone tomorrow. Just one more day please, I beg.
It is now the next morning and I am relieved when she makes it through the night. I know this is a selfish thought but it flows through my mind easily. She looks radiant today as she is glowing. She can no longer squeeze my hand and I get very little response from her. I know the end is near. I spend hours next to her telling her my plans for the future, playing with her hair, rubbing lotion on her legs and feet. I am prepared for her last breath, or so I think. Suddenly, I realize that it is almost two o clock in the afternoon and I have not eaten or gotten dressed. The time has passed so rapidly. I shower and eat as fast as I can because I don’t want to miss any more moments with her. As I walk back to her house, which is tucked behind the main house, I see her Hospice caregiver, she has arrived to bathe her. I give her a kiss on her forehead and tell her “Have a nice sponge bath, Grandma, See you in a few minutes.” I didn’t realize that would be my last moment with her but it was. The next time I would see her it was her body only. She was finally at Peace, free and whole again.