While I thought that I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die. Leonardo da Vinci, Italian polymath (a person of wide-ranging knowledge or learning)
Yesterday I interviewed Jean, a daughter who lost her mother to Alzheimer’s and her step-father to vascular dementia just five days later. He didn’t know his wife had died…in fact he was in a different care facility miles away (she in memory care, he in skilled care). Just before slipping into a final coma, her mother said, “Thank you for everything.” Jean, a CNA, had been her caregiver so her mother would not have to make another move.
I’ve been told several similar stories. Vicki, whose mother had not said a word for two years suddenly looked her daughter in the eye and said, “I love you, Vicki”. These final gifts are precious and give daughters something to cherish as they grieve their loss and beyond.
Affirmation: I accept endings.
Coaching requests and questions: If you have an ending story, recall it now and take comfort in the message. What have you learned about death during your life? How is this informing how you live?