Ginny's Final Hours
Mary awoke to the sound of her cell phone. She looked at the clock. It was 5 AM. The hospice nurse was on the line. Ginny’s blood pressure had dropped substantially. Her breathing was slow and shallow. Ginny’s transition from this life to whatever comes next had begun.
When Mary arrived at the house, she found Ginny lying in her hospital bed that had been moved to the sun room as she had requested. Pictures of Bob and Michael were placed in Ginny’s line of sight. Candles were lit throughout the room. Kenny G’s soprano sax was sounding softly from a CD player. Bob and Michael were sitting on either side of the bed holding Ginny’s hands.
“Her hands are so cold,” commented Bob. “That’s normal,” said Mary. “Her body is now drawing all its resources to her core.”
“Why don’t you and Michael climb into bed with her to keep her warm?” Mary suggested. “Remember, she asked you to hold her while her final moments unfold.”
With tears streaming down their cheeks Bob and Michael climbed into bed on either side of Ginny and wrapped their arms around her.
Ginny stirred and motioned for Mary to come closer. Mary bent her head next to Ginny’s mouth.
“I’m scared,” Ginny whispered.
“I know,” Mary whispered back. “Let’s use our guided meditation to help you.”
Mary spoke softly into Ginny’s ear. “The sun is rising. You can hear the sound of the waves hitting the shore. The air is salty. The water is cool on your bare feet. The gray light of dawn is giving way to the light of the sun coming up over the horizon. The girls of your Troop are gathered around you. You hear their oohs and ahs as you all watch the sun rise together. The sky changes from gray to blue.”
As Mary spoke Bob and Michael could feel Ginny’s body relax.
Mary looked at Ginny. Her eyes were now closed partially and seemed to be unseeing.
Time passed. Bob and Michael stayed on either side of Ginny, holding her tight. The color had drained from Ginny’s face. Her breathing had slowed to occasional gasps.
At 7:03 AM Bob and Michael felt Ginny’s body relax for the final time. She was gone. Bob and Michael hugged Ginny tight as they wept her passing. Mary placed a hand on each of their shoulders.
“Stay with her for as long as you wish. There is no hurry.” Mary said softly. After about twenty minutes Bob and Michael got up from Ginny’s bed. Michael went and got Ginny’s time-line scroll and draped it across her body as she had requested. Then Bob, Michael, and Mary sat in silence next to Ginny’s body. Kenny G’s sax continued to sound from the CD player.
“What do we do now?” Bob asked through his tears. “When you are ready, call the funeral home and ask them to come for Ginny.”
The three of them sat in silence again for a time. Then Bob and Michel rose, turned off the CD player, blew out the candles, and left the sun room to call the funeral home.
“I’ll let you make the calls you need to make,” Mary said. “When would you like me to return?”
“Thank you so much for your help. I think we’ll be okay for now,” said Bob. Please come back tomorrow morning around 9 AM.”
“I’ll do that,” said Mary. She gave Bob and Michael each a hug and left them to call family and friends.
In our next post we’ll see how Mary helps Bob and Michael begin to process the experience of being with Ginny as she died.