Sunday, January 8, 2012

In the End

She stood waiting for us at the door, quiet and composed though visibly in pain. We had been here once before, for a fall that ended up with a trip to the E.R. thanks to the chemo he was going through. She greeted us and took us to the bedroom, neatly kept just like the rest of the house.

He was lying in the bed, silent and still, on that snowy day. We had of course brought the works into the house but I knew the moment I saw her we wouldn't need any of it. He looked so frail on the bed, blankets piled up to keep him warm, frailer than when we had seen him several months ago for that fall.

The cancer had not been kind to him. He had lost his battle and we were left comforting his wife.

She was stoic, having cared for him at home this entire time, refusing to let him be in the hospital unless absolutely necessary. She had known that it was coming but that didn't lessen the blow.

"I had just closed my eyes. I didn't mean to take that nap."

I thought to myself that her nap was probably exactly why he had chosen that moment to go. You could see the love the two had throughout the house, I had seen it during our call here for the fall. He didn't want to burden his wife with his illness and yet she had refused to let anyone else care for him. He had to have been grateful for that, perhaps wanting to spare her the last pain of watching him die in front of her.

We left only once we were sure she would be okay. Sadly, it would not be a merry Christmas Day for her.

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