Have you ever wondered if a person who is passing away can hear your words? They can. I know. Even in the fuzziness of dementia, there is clarity.
June 1-3 of 2016, I visited Jean in the nursing home after receiving a call alerting of her “rapid deterioration.” The science of the process is pretty clear- first not eating and then without drinking, she would not have more than 1-2 weeks left. The medical director thought just a few days. Being the medical power of attorney, her age of 89 years, 2 hip breaks and dementia, I changed the order to DNR. And I drove to Springfield to say goodbye.
Sitting on her bedside, Jean was resting, in and out of sleep, not talking, so I just sat by her, held her hand, and I told Jean not to worry about me if she needed to go. I told her I will try to make her proud and be half the woman she was. That I memorized Proverbs 3:5-6 because of her words to me to “Trust in the Lord.”
I told Jean she’s been like a grandmother to me, that I love her, that she has been a blessing to me for over 20 years. I rubbed her hair and face and told her her skin is so soft and her hair was pretty-it was white silver like an angel. Then she looked at me and told me my teeth were so pretty.
And then, after 2 days of not drinking, she said “I think I’ll get up and make me some Kool-Aid.” I asked what flavor- cherry or grape? She said “Orange.” I went and got it. She took two drinks and then asked if there was any cranberry juice. I got the cranberry juice and she took six full drinks. The will.
I sat more with her and rubbed her head. She put her hand to my face and said that she loved me. Through the haze of dementia, my sweet Jean was there. And I knew her through it all.
The power of the Will. Jean started drinking and eating again and lived another 4 weeks. Did my words have an impact? Yes, I believe so. What words are you sharing with those you love?
Live. Breathe. Alive. blog- Here I write about life, love, my spiritual journey and what I am learning to help others. Using the voice I have.