"Have you said everything to your Step Mom that you need to before she goes?" my sweet friend asked me.
I had. Long before she started her decline, I had felt complete with her. I couldn't think of any words left to say before she passed. Perhaps if she was coherent enough when I got to town and saw her, more words would emerge. Now my heart was at peace.
My first flight out to be with her was cancelled after several hours of delays. I almost didn't make it to Cincinnati on Wednesday. But I booked a different airline and arrived at her room close to midnight. I wanted her to know I was there because I wanted her to know I would be with Dad and Sis when she passed. "Your father will be glad to see you," she said. Those would be her last spoken words to me.
The next morning she was alive, but unconscious. She had declined sharply in the night. We sat by her bed for 22 hours and were with her when she took her last breath.
My showing up sent my last message. It said, "I'm here. We have each other. You are free to let go when you are ready." She was ready in under 24 hours.
It was over. "Goodbye honey," my father told her. We left the room and returned to their senior community and silently shared some apple sauce before bed. Our hearts were tender, but not heavy. It was a beautiful passing in so many ways.
It's an honor to be included in someone's life and even more of an honor to be included when they pass. I am feeling very honored. Dad says the way she passed was her finest hour.