Her goodbye

My friend Lisa, who was like another mother to me, passed away suddenly to cancer in October last year. I was there when she was in the ICU and then again the next day when they moved her into hospice. The last time I saw Lisa and she was semi coherent, she kept telling us about the aliens who were coming to take her. Her face was alight with childlike awe as she described to us the “beautiful space ships.” Sometimes, while she was looking off, she would be moved almost to tears by the beauty of it. You could tell while talking with her that she wasn’t quite with us yet wasn’t so far gone that she didn’t know we were there. She wanted us to know, to know she would be ok, and that they were coming to get her and take her someplace new. She never said where, just that she was going away.

 

I don’t believe in an afterlife, and in fact think people far too often use the spoils of the next life to spoil this one. But I believe 100% in Lisa’s experience. Sometimes, she would look off and talk about the shadow man in the room, ask us if we could see him. Then just as quickly she would come back to us, talking about whatever random thing we were doing.

 

The most amazing part, for me, was when it was time for me to leave the ICU to make the 2hr drive back home, I went to hug her goodbye, with plans to return Monday. She knew, she knew I wouldn’t see her alive again, oh I went back the very next day when she was moved to hospice care. I sat at her bedside and held her hand when her husband had to leave the room for a few minutes’ peace, when he couldn’t bear it and had to go out for fresh air and a smoke, the only time I would pray that this breath wouldn’t be her last. I couldn’t bear the thought of him not being with her in her final moments. I sat with her as she struggled to breathe, as her body collapsed in on itself while she was drowning and there was nothing anyone could do to ease her pain. I only hope those aliens or angles or whatever they were had her firmly in their grasp during those last 25 hours.

When I left the ICU that night, she held on to me as firmly as her frail body could grasp me and she said to me, “No matter that you didn’t come from me, you’re mine and always will be.”

 

She passed away 40 hours later, when her husband had finally gone to sleep after 7 days awake in the hospital with her. They finally convinced him to rest, so he got into the bed with her and wrapped her in is arms and slept, almost immediately once he was sleeping, she slipped away.

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