I had just arrived at the hospital to arrange hospice and take her home, thinking at the very least we had days. And then the whirlwind. The palliative nurse calling me from her doorway saying you need to come now. Within 10 minutes, I sat at her bedside holding her hand, and life quietly and peacefully left her body. It was just her and I and a room filled with tenderness. It was by her design.
There was a man playing guitar in an activity room in the distance. I asked the nurse to ask him if he would come and sing for us. He sat behind me and quietly strummed and sang Amazing Grace. When he left I said aloud her Catholic prayers as I knew she would want. The priest came and gave her the Last Rites. My children and grandchildren slowly arrived and said their goodbyes: The five year olds: "Have fun in heaven and help me grow up good." The baby reaching his hand toward her in blessing....it was a full and rich passing. In all its simplicity.
And now planning and tending to the farewell of her body.