Every few days, I am leaving the world of crafting behind to share our end-of-life experiences with Tim’s mom. Today is one of those days. I want to share this story of Margaret that I think leaves a message for us all.
Early on in hospice care, people would visit and Margaret would tell them to leave after a few minutes of talking. We would all laugh because that is “so Margaret”….blunt and to the point.
About 2 weeks ago, when she could no longer carry on much of a conversation, her best friend Marge came to visit. We were each sitting on one side of her bed and each holding one of her hands while talking with each other. At one point, Margaret said “I love listening to your good conversation”.
That simple statement said a lot! (I realized then, that she probably had told people to leave because she was too tired to talk.) After that, I invited each person that stopped by to sit and visit with me for awhile. I shared that Margaret had said she loved that. We would sit by her, holding her hands and talking….sometimes about her, but mostly about anything at all. Margaret would let me know by squeezing my hand how much she appreciated it.
One woman, someone I had never met, stopped in and told Margaret how much watching Margaret’s faith in action had impacted her life. She then quickly left the room with tears in her eyes. I caught up with her in the hall and invited her back in to talk with me. She accepted and we had the most amazing conversation…..and to think I would have never gotten to know her if I hadn’t learned this lesson from Margaret.
Perhaps you have visited people in hospice card and felt like I have – you want to stop by and let them know you care and you are praying for them, but you don’t hang around because you don’t know what else to do. Now, I know I will be different. I will visit with a friend, if possible, or if I’m alone, I will sit and just talk about whatever……and tell them I’m not looking for a response.
It reminds of being sick when our five kids were little….you know that point where you are feeling better and are enjoying hearing the sounds of daily life around you…but not being responsible for any of it. I suspect listening to these conversations leaves Margaret with a comforting feeling of life going on without you even when you yourself will soon be leaving it.
What a gift it is to be spending these days with Margaret.
(The coffee cup is in honor of Margaret. She isn’t really eating at all, but she still enjoys her sips of coffee!)
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