My mother-in-law was given last rites today by a wonderful Latino priest. He was smiling and comforting to all of us. He even sang a little song at the end which was...well...sweet.
Mom has been in another world all day, just sleeping and not opening her eyes. My wife thought that it was best to have the priest come because it doesn't appear that she will last much longer. She is no longer eating or drinking. The Hospice nurse is giving her a bag of IV fluids to keep her hydrated. Other than that, her life is taking its course towards death.
I was doing okay with her dying earlier when I went to see her. She was in her nightgown, covered by a pretty purple comforter. I talked to her and told her that I loved her. And that it was okay to let go now. She doesn't move so the caregivers keep turning her to prevent sores.
I went to the grocery store and had to leave. Night was coming on and the long shadows of the afternoon were just too sad. So I only got part of the groceries and left the store. I will finish the shopping tomorrow. I simply couldn't be in the store another moment because I felt overcome with sadness. I thought that I was prepared, but I suppose I am not fully ready to let her go yet. I will come to grips on it but in the mean time, I simply have to feel the sadness.
Tomorrow, we will bring Pop over to see her. We both are hoping this is the right thing to do. But after so many years of marriage, it just seemed that it would not be good for him to not see her again. I simply don't know. These are things that I didn't learn with my parents' dying. There isn't a right or wrong way. But we are feeling our way through this as best we can. Perhaps the priest will come back tomorrow and give some comfort to Pop. I simply don't know.