CENTENNIAL WISDOM

wisdomA woman who is one hundred years old is oh, so slowly dying; we all sit at the bedside and feel as though we are holding our breath.  She is still breathing.  Her family and I are wondering how a person can stay alive day after day, taking in such a tiny portion of anything and only an occasional sip, while her body literally shrivels away. I am also astonished that she continues to recognize me at each visit.  She awakens from her dreamy state when I comment, “I didn’t think I would see you again; why do you think you are still here?”

She replies prosaically, “I’m learning what life is all about.”

I ask her, “Would you share some of that wisdom with the rest of us?”

“No, we all have to do that ourselves,” she retorts and slips away into another space.

I want her to wake back up, and tell me the rest of the story.  One hundred years of wisdom, and still learning.

What does that mean for the rest of us?

(Postscript:  a week later, I saw her face in death, with eyes wide open, in a suggestion of surprise, and a smile.)

About Amy Getter

MS, RN, CHPN
This entry was posted in death bed vigil, smile and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s