Last week my husband and I went to visit my aunt who lives in a nursing home. She is suffering from severe dementia – so severe she can no longer talk, walk around or do anything of independence. She relies on the staff to wash, feed and dress her, move her when she needs to be moved and look after her. As a family we visit regularly, my mother (her sister) is nearly there every day brightening up her room with flowers, talking to her and keeping her updated on all of the news.
Bess is 93 now and we love her so dearly, but it is heartbreaking to watch a woman, single all her life, lose her independence and vibrancy. While my husband and I were there he shared a moment with her. It both amazes and scares me, and it has had me thinking.
Poor Bess, who can no longer pronounce words properly, let alone string a sentence together, looked my husband in the eye while he held her hand and said quite clearly, “I’ve had a good life. I’m ready to fly away”.
He was shocked. He couldn’t believe what he had just heard, so much so that he actually asked her if that is what she had said. She nodded and gazed at him with her kind eyes. Just writing about it gives me goosebumps and it has me wondering, do the lucky people get a warning when their loved ones are going to pass away?
Is this her way of saying she is ready and preparing us for what is to come? When she is so frail and so trapped in her small body I wonder if we are to accept these words as a sign that her days are numbered and that is something she is trying to help us come to terms with – or is that being overly superstitious and finding meaning in something that matters very little?
I’m not normally someone that looks for signs. I don’t believe in deeper meanings and to be frank I don’t even know quite how I feel about death. But I can’t help but feel this is her trying to help us understand and be at peace with what may come.
I have heard of other stories where people have given warning in their own way before they passed away. A dear friend’s Aunt was also in a nursing home and after a nasty fall she held Tori’s hand and said, “I don’t think I’ll be here sweetie, but I’m happy about that”. The next morning Tori woke to the news that her Aunt has passed away peacefully in her sleep.
So my big question today is, do the lucky ones get signs? Do our loved ones give us a warning when they are ready to let go? Has anything like this happened to you? Or should I stop dwelling on it? Please share your thoughts with me in the comments below…