Pamela Pyle on If You Didn’t Get to Say Goodbye to Your Loved One Before Their Death

“I’m ready to die,” Mr. G. announced to his wife who was standing at his side. She understood this need as she had witnessed the decline from a lung disease which first stole the living out of life and then stole the life out of everything else as he fought to hold on for her. With tears sliding down her cheeks, she gave a nod that was nearly imperceptible. She was ready to let him go. I asked if I could pray for them. We held hands as we each felt confident in his heavenly homecoming. The place with no more tears and a new heavenly body.

His oxygen was switched to a nasal cannula. He was made comfortable and given morphine to diminish his “air hunger.” Not long after, I came to his room after being called by the nurse. His wife held his hand, head resting upon their entwined fingers as he slept. I walked in and she raised her head. Weariness was etched in her face. We stood on opposite sides of the bed as we watched his heart rate slow and finally stop. As Mrs. G gave Mr. G a final kiss, her tears were gone. It was time for rest, for both husband and wife. In the face of a long, difficult death…Rest. Is. Good.

I share this patient’s story for it demonstrated the beauty of having the opportunity to say that last goodbye. Yet, for so many, this doesn’t happen. Our hearts have been torn apart as loved ones are separated this past two years and death is in the company of strangers. However, the tragedy of death without goodbyes occurs every second of every day. Sudden deaths, far-away deaths, lonely deaths, violent deaths, and accidental deaths rob those left behind of their final goodbye.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Pamela Pyle