Saturday, August 26, 2017

"I will not die in front of you"

Aunt Beulah slept off peacefully at 10:51 PM last night as her three daughters stood around her bed. For most of the day, they had monitored the almost imperceptible rise and fall of her breath. And then, the last soft gurgle. The nurse came in a moment later to check her vitals. Aunt Beulah's daughters said, "We think she's gone." Every death brings back all the others. This one was expected, so why does it hit so hard? Uncle Quintin had gone home to get some sleep and wasn't there when Aunt Beulah died. I think she chose that. The hospice nurses say it is hard to die in front of those who love us hardest. It's been a difficult August. But now Aunt Beulah is beyond all that earthly suffering. I hope she hugs my mom for me, as surely Gloria was among those who came to meet her. (I saw the title of this post on Rebecca's blog. I don't quite recall the context, but that phrase has been echoing in my head all morning.)


  1. I agree with the hospice nurse. We do get to make that choice, I think.
    And yes- every death brings back every death and no one can truly be prepared for the death of a beloved no matter what the circumstances.
    I would wish peace for all.

  2. I am so sorry for your loss. I know your memories, though painful, are beautiful. Hugs.

  3. May her memory be for a blessing. My deepest sympathies to all who knew and loved her.

    A fellow blogger and Facebook friend lost her mom on Thursday night. She and her brother were curled up around her in her hospital bed, holding her while they all slept. She breathed her last breath before they awoke. Your blog post title says it all.

  4. Before my mom died I couldn't understand the idea of having a loved one die is a shock. Sure, if they died suddenly, that makes sense. I was sitting beside my mom for a week before she died. I was expecting it. But when she did die, I couldn't understand or comprehend it. I remember looking at the nurse, bewildered. I told her that I think she died but it couldn't be. Just writing this is making me cry. It was a true shock if there ever was one. My heart goes out to her daughters. Nothing can ever prepare you for it.
    Sending love to all of you, Angelia.

    1. I'm so very sorry

  5. And yet even when we think it's over, another stage in grief comes along. That exhalation of held breath by those in attendance now turns to "what next?" as they come to terms with the finality of their loss. And even those who were not there - like you - will feel that change. Here's to your lovely and loving aunt, and here's to going on after loss. My condolences, A.

  6. I'm so sorry, R. At least her children were with her. I've heard of similar cases where people seem to time their deaths to wait for the presence or absence of a loved one. It's all so mysterious.

  7. The weird thing about death is that is really is permanent - like, I can not call you later, or make plans for next week, or when I have time I will drop by. Death is so weird- such big empty spaces left- holes that can not be filled ever again. Like a slow healing wound , it may become smaller but is always there. I want to believe that those departed carry on- somewhere- somehow, which is probably just wishful but saves us from devastation.

  8. What a gorgeous picture!

    My condolences...

  9. To accept death as part of life, why is it so hard for us. I am very sorry about your loss but you will keep the memory of your beautiful aunt alive.

  10. What a beauty she was! How heartbreaking life/death is. The most natural thing in our world and yet the hole it leaves in our lives causes us so much pain. My condolences to you and yours. May you all find peace. XXOO

  11. So very sorry for your loss. May your memories of her provide you comfort. Beautiful lady.


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