Friday, February 3, 2017


Yesterday I sat, for the fourth time in my life, at the bedside of a dying person. It is always a soul stirring experience.

An elderly friend, who has had her challenges physically these past few years was at the local care center after a fall last month, and we got news that she was soon to be leaving the earth. I hurried over and sat with her for the next several hours. She was unaware of our presence, and was not conscious at all, and yet I always feel as though people should not be alone when they are making their transition to the next world. I don't know why, I just feel that way. Perhaps its because my medical training informs me that the hearing is the last thing to go, and I tried to assure her verbally every so often that we were there, she was not alone, and it was fine for her to go to sleep and rest whenever she was ready.

She didn't actually pass until after I got home, but it was a soul stirring time to be there with her, at such an old age and after such a blessed life, and to watch her peacefully leave the earth. I hope for such a peaceful, gentle transition some day - we all do - and yet with all the tragedy and sadness around us its hard to imagine being so lucky. I sat the same way with my dear friend only three years ago as she died and she was only 60 years old. Not quite so easy to take. And of course there are times we see very young people die, as happened recently here in East Hampton. Those passings are much more difficult.

I will miss this lady's presence in my life - she was my last connection to my mother as they were good friends and I always felt as though when I was with her I was with Mom as well. It was a comforting thing to talk with her and be in her presence for that reason alone. And since I've known her all my life it was like saying goodbye to a little piece of my history as well.

It was bittersweet to be sure. And yet, my heart was not heavy with it. Just very content with the way it's supposed to be.

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