Sunday, March 19, 2006

On Death

My 98-year-old grandmother died this morning. I feel fortunate that I was available to be with her all of last week. A week ago Friday my mother and I hurried across the country to be with her, as we were told her end was iminent. I think my grandmother surprised herself more than the rest of us by living an additional week. We moved her from the hospital to a beautiful hospice house last Wednesday afternoon. I traveled home this past Friday after we knew she was settled there. She died this morning. She led a long and very full life.

It's not a surprise to anyone that she waited for the family to leave before she died. She moved to her summer place in the woods years ago, away from a lifetime of friends and relatives, to live out the rest of her life in a peaceful environment. She enjoyed living alone, and it appears that when people die from natural causes, they hang on to take control over the time and place where they decide to take the next step.

Cheers to your long life, Gram. I hope your journey was a peaceful one.