|Mom and Bob, August 2011|
We never know when death will come, but it is a certainty of life; just like taxes.
Ruthie, Harvey and soon to add to the list of those who went "home", Bob.
Of all the friends that I have made, it's difficult seeing Bob enter into the dying phase of his illness. He's hot, appears to have difficulty breathing and is hallucinating a lot more than he had been.
"Ellen! Ellen! Ellen!" Bob screamed when he heard my voice yesterday afternoon. Bob believes that I am Ellen, his Caregiver from home before he was placed in a facility.
"Bob. Are you OK? Can I help you?" I asked as I entered his room.
"No. I need you. Come here." Bob answered as he mumbled something while pointing to the ceiling across the room.
"Do you see it?" Bob yelled at me. I tried all the techniques I knew.
"Hmmm, I am not sure. Can you give me some advice?" I asked in a calm tone.
"Do you see it?!" He repeated with more expression.
"Come on. .... Ice cream.... " He tried to add in order for me to understand.
"Do you want some ice cream?" I asked.
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Aww, come on! You can't be that stupid, can you?!" Bob was frustrated.
No words I said could calm him. Instead of talking, I sat next to his bed, held his hand and prayed to Mother Mary to ease my friends pain.
Bob is dying. I can see it in his eyes. I remember seeing this look on my father's face when he laid in a hospital bed dying of cancer over 30 years ago. Like my dad, Bob doesn't like to be alone; who would when they are dying?
All we can do at this point is hold Bob's hand, let him know that he's not alone and keep him comfortable while he waits for "Heaven's Bus" to come and pick him up.
I will miss Bob. I will miss seeing him smile when he holds one of Mom's babies. I will miss answering his hallucinations; weaving a story to ease his agitation.
I will NOT miss seeing Bob suffer.
The hardest part about visiting the nursing home is learning that one of my friends has died or is standing on death's door.