There is nothing like watching someone you love die, that gradual goodbye that seems to go on forever in the midst of pain and lost meals, and eventually no food or water, and morphine that totally clouds the mind and speech.
Your life goes on hold and you see everything else through the lens of this waiting and watching.
There is nothing like watching what was once a healthy, rosy, vibrant body get smaller and thinner, strength wasting away until until there is no movement save the rising chest that gradually slows... Stops. Rises, falls, Stops. Rises, falls, Stops. again and again, until it Stops. to. rise. no. more.
When you know the final breath is coming, and you are confident your loved one is going to a much better place, it's not the final one that is so difficult. It is those many slowed and stopped ones before the final one.
We got the diagnosis Monday, August 1st. No wonder she had broken her hip, then her knee, and had fallen more than once over the past year. No wonder she had complained of pain and had taken more Tylenol than ever before in her 77 years!
They told us she had stage 4 breast cancer that had gone to the bones, 6 months to 2 years, maybe...
She took it calmly. No panic. She was fairly quiet about it, and her baby girl, along with the help of her other children and friends, quietly kicked in to "full-time do whatever you have to do to help her through this final battle."
Time seemed to stop, but it didn't stop at all. We can hardly believe she was gone only 46 days after the diagnosis.
Many life-lessons learned, many prayers later...
We are trusting we will see you again, dear Mother-in-law!