Published on November 28, 2022
Recently a caregiver for one of my patients asked me, “How do you do THIS all of the time?” as he was deeply grieving for his friend. My patients, and the incredible moments I share with them, are what make it worthwhile. Many beautiful things still happen in the final days of life, sometimes even more so, as we become focused on what is most precious with limited time. One particular patient comes to mind as an example of the healing that can take place even at the end of life.
As she began the transition from living to dying, she had many visits from loved ones. Her estranged daughter also wanted to visit. While some were concerned that it could cause her distress, she went ahead and met with her daughter. They had a very good visit and were able to say all the things that needed to be said. “Will you forgive me? I forgive you. I love you.”
A few days later, she was actively dying in her home (where she wished to be). Her daughter called to tell her a favorite story that she used to tell her daughter as a child. This was the final “visit” she needed. After she hung up, she had one long exhalation of breath and passed away.