Back in July, I wrote a post regarding my Aunt Marie. It was her ninety fourth birthday. We celebrated at her home in Franciscan Village in Lemont, Illinois. She was somewhat pensive that day, but she did the best she could to enjoy the moment. Last week she took a turn for the worse. In all the many times she was hospitalized, she bounced back readily. This time she was different. The problem that put her there was serious, and required some major body interventions. As her DPOA (Durable Power of Attorney), I made a the decision for her. I stopped all further treatments, and signed her up for hospice. It was time to let nature takes its normal course.
It isn’t easy watching someone die. In fact it can be downright ugly. Yet, it can be beautiful at the same time. Witnessing a person’s pain, and discomfort is ugly. Knowing that the pain and discomfort is short lived, and that spiritual reward is near, is beautiful.
She had many visitors last Friday, luckily, I was one of them. I sat next to her bed talking with Mary and John, a couple of friends who grew up with her. We watched her breathing while she slept. Then, I suddenly realized that she was not moving any more. She had passed quietly, painlessly, peacefully right in front of the three of us.
My Barbara never let me have that experience. She knew I was on the way to her side, and she let go before I got there. I missed her last breath by ten minutes. We had said goodbye to each other the day before while she was still conscious. Six years later it is still painful to remember.
After everyone left Marie’s room, and I was alone with her, I cried. I told her I would miss her, and I thanked her for letting me take care of her. She was was my last connection to Barbara. Days before Barb died, she gave me an order to take care of Marie. I did my best, and now the job is nearly completed.
Yesterday, we gave Marie a great send off with a Mass of Christian Burial, and then entombed her next to husband Henry at the mausoleum In Resurrection Cemetery. By her direction, the luncheon afterward was at the Landmark. She insisted on an open bar with a family style Polish meal, and special order dumplings.
Aunty Marie Golema
Born: July 16, 1915
Died: September 25, 2009
She is at heavenly peace.
Filed under: Characters I knew, family, Funk, grief, Memories, religion, Warm and Fuzzy | Tagged: Death, Dumplings, Dying, Franciscan Village, Heavenly Peace, Hospice, Mass of Christian Burial, Mausoleum, Nursing Home, Polish, Resurrection Cemetery | 3 Comments »