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An Old Friend Sits with his Dying Mother

She had a stroke last week. Wells called me on Saturday certain that she would die that day. She didn't die. I just called him tonight and he is still sitting with her. She is not on a feeding tube nor IV fluids, and so she has been without sustenance or liquids for four days now. He sits patiently with her, listing to her breathing. She was raspy for a while but now her breathing is shallow, faint, and without rattles. He wants to be there with her at the moment of her death. He sleeps on the hard floor beside her bed. He doesn't mind. His sister also sits with her, so he can go for a run. It is amazing how long a frail old unconscious lady can cling to LIFE. If there were a legal way for her life to have ended already, her children would have done that for her. It would be an act of love. It is an act of love that he sits with her waiting for her to die. He prays that he will not linger when his time comes. I pray that someone will be there for me when my time comes.

Like Denny used to say when he was training us on CPR, "Ten out of ten people die".

So Be It.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 29th, 2006 03:03 pm (UTC)
She may be waiting
...for a moment to be alone. I sat with my father for ten days. He passed while I was away for a few minutes. I've heard that happens quite often. It's a strange thing, I've thought many times, how we will just sit with somebody until they die. Helpless to do anything, we sit with our own thoughts. It is a good time for reflection. It's more for the living than the dead. We can go on knowing we didn't leave a loved one to die alone, and it makes us feel better. I am sending good thoughts to your friend. --D.
Mar. 29th, 2006 10:20 pm (UTC)
Re: She may be waiting
I guess I can comprehend a person wanting privacy at the moment of death. Or perhaps the connection to the living being the thing that keeps the body going so long.....

Ten days is very long to sit with a dying loved one. Wells sat for five. I know also that you had a lot of things that were still unsaid at the time of your father's death...so it must have been sad.

Thanks for offering your perspective.

Wells' mother died this morning at 5am and he was there.

I am making plans to visit my parents, who both still live, for the first time in 2+ years.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )



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