I am not going to write anything definitive re my aunt’s decline. For today, I will lay it to the care giver to take the blame for this emotional roller coaster: with a drawn expression, with a hesitant voice, this woman who has handled many in-house hospice deaths in 14 years, said “I don’t know (head shake, looking away), I see changes. It is maybe time.” I won’t describe the changes. I saw them too. I have been thinking maybe I am imagining it all. But really it falls into the old ‘each person is different’ within the general shut down process. I will stick with that, for now. Won’t hazard a guess. Won’t over dramatize it. She is one tough woman!
Hearing: I have been doing much too much reading about dying of late. One interesting statement attributed to the dying is they lose their sense of hearing last. That assumes they have good hearing at the end, and don’t go ‘huh’ a lot like I do now.
Well, if it can be considered a lighter note, my Auntie has excellent hearing. So, the advice goes, even if their eyes are shut and they are seemingly lost in some other place, they most probably can hear all you or others, nearby are saying. I think it is a good idea to hedge your bets on this one. And, consequently, I just sit and hold her hand and say sweet things to her.
Her hand does not clench mine anymore. Her eye lids don’t flutter, her cheeks don’t tighten up in a partial smile. But, I know she hears me.