I don’t know if you have been with someone as they die. It is one of the hardest experiences there is in life. It takes great courage to sit beside someone as they approach the end of their life. To hold their hand as they labor to breathe. It is hard to be there for hours and days and weeks as a person’s body slowly shuts down. It is so hard to listen to them as their mind fades in and out. It is soul wrenching. It can be devastating to listen to the other people, and how they react to the dying. It will push you to the end of your outer limit..and a little more.
But to be truly present with someone, helping them in their last moments, that is the best gift you can give a person. It is not something you do because you will get money when they are gone. It is something you do, because you are involved in one of the most private intimate moments in a human’s life. To love someone so much that you would put yourself aside, and be present…that is an amazing gift. To hold someone’s hand and share the love you have for them, not because they were always good, but because they are yours. That is a moment that no one else can understand or know.
Some people go quietly…shuttering and gone. Some people go fighting mad to be done. Some die with regrets. As a loved one all you can do is help. It is their party. It is a private moment and the last decisions they will have and the last words they will say. Be respectful and loving no matter what. Whatever you say, you will carry with you. If you do the best you can to do what they want, within reason, then it is done. Do your best to hold your sobs and be brave. Let them concentrate on the journey. Tell them that they are loved by a big God. Tell them they are loved by you…and be quiet so they can go. Cry when they are gone. Let yourself grieve over dreams gone and opportunities missed, but know that in this last moment, you were with them. They were not alone, and you gave them that. There is no one who can take that. There is no pricetag that can touch that. It is a priceless gift you have given. You are strong and brave to be there…even when you feel weak and broken. You can do this!