Friday, November 27, 2009


Originally uploaded by suttonhoo
Practice this thought now; turn it over in your mind; fabricate a muscle memory inside your imagination. Because when the day comes and you approach the bed of the dying your first impulse will be to say nothing. She may almost certainly say nothing to you. You may sit stiffly and look on politely before you look away. It may seem impolite to stare as her breath grows labored and her eyes grow wide.

If you have practiced this thought the compulsion might come to you easily, and gently you will take her hand. You will stroke her skin with its sheen like rice paper; you might fear that it will tear like tissue beneath your fingertips. If there's lotion close you might think to warm some in your hands and spread it on her thirsty skin.

Address her shoulders, her sternum. She may respond with a sigh of ease. She may not.

Rub her tired traveler's feet. They are dry and turned in on themselves and weary.

Practice this thought now, because the dying need to be touched like the newly born do. The dying need to know we're near.


Kenneth Sutton said...

Thank you.

Blessings on your (and her) journey.

Scrivener said...

Thank you for sharing this wisdom. I will remember this beautiful post & this advice when the time comes for me to need if. I've been thinking of you & yours.

I, Rodius said...

Good advice. Let us not need it soon. Thinking of you and Mr. Hoo again, and wishing you all well.

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