The East Wind down ‘The Gorge’ rattles the windows. It is dark. My eyes are burning from no sleep. I have sat through the night beside my Auntie watching, listening. Listening to the cadence of the breathing thousands of times over. Waiting for the final gasps and then the long drawn out exhalation and then the silence. That clock will be ticking and ticking.
The thoughts run through the mind: others far and wide that go through this day in and day out…or at night. The fear of what will be. The fear of the loss. Grief. Maybe comfort that it has happened and the loved one is in a gentler place? Comfort that they are in God’s care? Hard to imagine a clinical view that they are dead and that is it.
This whole process begs many considerations: faith, loss, devotion, trust, science, our own vulnerability.
Also, you marvel and wonder about that spark of life that leaves so easily for some and lingers so long for others. There are those suggested generalizations offered up about the dying process always with the caveat that they vary from person to person.
I have been through this with my mom and dad. Both looked and sounded the same at the end, but followed different timelines with cancer and the aftermath of a stroke.
Regardless, for me, I am sitting here now listening to the gasping, the rattle, the slight twisting of the head as each breath is sought and expelled. I love this little 4’11” titan….my Auntie. Her name is Tillie. A very cute name for such a sweet girl.
She has struggled through the night. She is in that other place they go while ‘actively dying’. I am comforted by your prayers and support. 15 hours ago, which seems like days ago, I wrote ‘soon’. The wind still is rattling the windows. First light is near, the darkness is fading.