Saturday, November 16, 2013

NYT: Sharing "Gifts" at the End-of-Life

Diane Melton's "The Gift at an Ending," is a tribute to both her mother and her husband, and it will go straight to your heart.

Thanks, Laurel, for sending this lovely essay from the New York Times.

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That's a beautiful story, Professor, and not unlike the passing of my father.

The day before my father's death both my niece, then in 8th grade, and I were moved independently to visit him. My niece, on her own, went by train from her home in NYC to New Jersey and then walked to the hospital. I found her there when I arrived, having felt called to leave work early for the purpose.

My Dad, was as today's article describes, serene. He calmly arranged his affairs with me, e.g. asking me to care for his Aunt Bella, then in her 90s, and telling me where he had put his income tax form which he had drafted in pencil.

Our visit was a wonderful moment but somehow I knew. I wept on the drive back into the City and it’s a miracle that calamity didn't result from the tears that filled my eyes. The next day he was gone. He was ready. He was at peace.

Dad still visits in the dark of the night. He comes in dreams so vivid that they are the same as reality. Some may explain those visits as the conjurings of an active imagination but we know differently. We may not understand the world beyond, and it may not be the narrow doctrine preached on Sunday mornings, but there is clearly a mystery to human existence and that mystery persists beyond the grave.

Posted by: Jack Cumming | Nov 17, 2013 7:43:45 AM

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