A Hospice Story

A Graceful Passage

Submitted by: Denise Torgerson - April 5, 2017

One day as I was working I noticed a man sitting all alone in a guest room with his loved one. I knew that she was close to dying and so I asked him if I could sit with him.

I sat down and we chatted a bit. He told me about his relationship with the woman he was sitting with. Then we sat in silence. My eyes were on the guest, breathing with her and staying present.

I looked at the gentleman and he had this beautiful, big smile on his face. I asked him, "what are you thinking about?"

He told me this story about when he and his brother were kids and they used to play at the woman's house.

I don't remember the story. I do remember the love in his voice as he was speaking. I remember how through his sharing he came to a place of immense gratitude for the woman and all that she had taught him. It was always a relationship of mutual respect.

As he told the story, her breathing became more and more shallow until she took her final breath.

When he completed the story, we sat again in silence.

He wasn't aware that she had died.

I told him that I would get the nurse. A deep breath from him, a nod of acknowledgement, he was at peace.

How wonderful that his remembering and sharing of the story were the last words she heard.

How beautiful that because of his sharing, his heart was overflowing in love as she passed.

A gift for both of them.

I feel honored that I was there, in those moments to witness.