Thursday, November 18, 2010

This woman I know.

This woman I know, she is dying.

While I worry about my homework and procrastinate on the computer and vacuum the rug and do the dishes and put gas in my car and brush my teeth and gossip and play and sleep and run and cry and live this woman I know, she is dying.

This woman I know, I've known her for several months. She has been my patient. I have tried, we have tried to find a medication or treatment to make her feel better but she has been steadily declining and feeling worse and worse. There was nothing we could do to cure her-- her body was just beginning to shut down. Nature, as they say.

Last time I saw her in her home she was pale, gaunt, tearful. I just feel so terrible. My whole body aches. Am I dying?
Vomiting, moaning, crying, suffering.
Am I dying? Is my daughter coming? Does she know? I just don't want to be alone.

We referred her to Hospice. Now when I see her she is lying in bed, breathing slowly, actually able to rest. She looks different, thinner perhaps.
I can see my husband. He's wearing a green shirt and smiling at me.

I'm sad. I know I shouldn't be, really. This woman I know, she is 101 years old. She has lived a long, full life. She isn't suffering like she was before. It's just her time. And we helped her. We found her the best place to be as she nears the end of her life.

Every day I wonder if I'll get the call letting me know that she is gone. Every day I wonder if I'll see her alive for one more day. I hope I did everything I could have for her. I hope she is resting. I hope she is not alone. I hope I am strong enough to keep doing this.

This woman I know, she is dying.