...breathe, too long a pause, breathe again.
These are our precious moments in hospice with my mother-in-law. Time is strangely suspended and marked only by touchpoints of watchfulness...she ate a bite, she required a higher dose of this, she's being turned, she speaks a word or two, she sleeps again.
It is not grim, it is not ok, it is not tragic, it is not wonderful. But it's precious.
I'm here fulltime now, and Jack is still working a few more days till we hear it is time for him to suspend himself here, too. He commutes an hour here after his work and sleeps nearby her bed. We're a tag team. I'm glad he was not here last night, because some important things became more difficult for her, and she struggled. A man across the hall died, and his wife keened through the night, relatives joining with her at first but dispersing to grieve in their own ways in the many nooks designed for that here at this hospice. They were the muffled sounds you might mistake for a violent argument. They were her argument against her beloved being taken too soon...always too soon. Goodbye, goodbye...
No, I will not say goodbye, said her wordless wails.
I'm caught in the uncomfortable place of unwitting passerby. I sit and listen, and try not to hear the details. This place is a keeper of hallowed secrets.
We are not sure when our turn will come. How will we grieve? How will I help my husband at that time?
How do people without companions pass away without someone to protest?
Breathe, pause, breathe.
Too long a pause, breathe again.
Our moments are ordinary, and are too soon gone. We will gather these moments as talismen to hold in days of argument and acceptance.
I will be away from the blog during a good bit of this time. I have read the wonderful comments of my friends here, and am so blessed by your friendship and encouragement...thank you for sharing so many of your own perspectives and moments with me, your kinship. I love you all dearly!