The Process.

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That's what the Hospice nurse called it when my sister was in her final days. " End of life Process ". I guess it's a better description than anything else. Now, as my cousin goes through that same process my sister went through four years ago with the same insidious disease that she had, I'm recalling her experience, and also my step father Sams experience twelve years ago. Once again from the same killer, " lung cancer". When my sister came to be with us from where she lived in Idaho, she was in bad shape. The doctors told us they'd be surprised if she lasted two days. Somehow though, with the help of Hospice she improved. In a couple of weeks she was even able to enjoy the fried chicken and potato salad I made for her. She was coherent most of the time in spite of the strong pain meds. So Sherry did not die in two days. She lasted two more months with her siblings at her side. When her legs finally gave out , the Hospice team told us it was close. A couple of weeks later my sister was gone. I wasn't there at the time but I'm told my sister awoke in her hospital bed at 4:00 am, turned her head and looked down an empty hallway and cryed out, " please help me". A moment later, she was gone. I'll always believe there was someone or something in that hallway for her. What or who, I couldn't say. Sam's journey was a little different. I remember being out in Arkansas when Sam was in his final days. Circumstances prevented me from making the fifteen hundred mile trip to see Sam . He was in a coma like state anyway so he would not have known I was there. One day after work I layed on the couch and closed my eyes and in silent thoughts I said Sam, do you remember all those times we went cat fishing together below Horshoe Dam? And I fell asleep remembering those times of my best friend Sam and I fishing all night at our spot at Horshoe. Sam passed a few days later. When I went to Phoenix several years later, my sister Pamela who was one of Sams caregivers shared with me Sams final hours. She told me while at his side and Sam being in a semi conscious state, that she asked him, " Sam. What are you thinking about right now?" Sam replied in a faint voice, I'm fishing. ..So now it is our cousin Tonys time to go through his " Process". With his devoted wife, mother and siblings by his side he'll not be alone. But he would not be alone regardless. He would not be alone because there is someone or more, or some presence there that none of us can understand or comprehend. It has nothing to do with religion. It has to do with an element of life and the source of it all. I've witnessed this presence even though I know it not and could not provide one shred of evidence to who or what it is about. One thing I do believe through 62 years of life experience, is that we are cared about and we are never alone. This too is part of the end of life "Process". We are never alone.
It has gotten everybody who ever lived, and it'll get us too, Lud. I hope you get to meet it on the best terms you can arrange, and I suggest working on arranging those terms, if you haven't already. And I hope it's a good long time in the future.
live now Lud

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