Monday, February 2, 2009

Resting in Peace

Aggie was surely dying. I stopped by her bedside. I’d come to love her while working at the Reserve, where late-stage dementia patients live. When I’d visited her a few days ago, she’d been sleeping deeply. I let her rest without disturbing her peace.

This time the skin over her bones had become so thin to be almost transparent. Her fingernails were bluish. She was still peaceful. Her angel hair was so soft, so purely white. It glowed, a halo around her skull. Her large, deaf ears did not hear, although usually hearing is the last sense to leave. Her hearing had left even before I met her six months ago. She was beautiful in her surrender and peace, bringing tears to my eyes.

My eyes won’t see her working a puzzle for an hour anymore. My ears won’t hear her yell “Kick it!” when a player dozes instead of moving the ball during our circle kickball games. My hands won’t smooth that soft, soft hair anymore, or massage her big boned hands. My heart won’t feel her love when she bursts into her wide and generous smile anymore.

I whispered to her soul what her ears might not hear,”If I don’t see you here again Agnes, I’ll know you are in a better place.”

She died the next morning.

--by Terra Rafael

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