Transcending the body

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Transcending the body

Transcending the body

When the vicar, Sarah, arrived yesterday to see my grandmother and to say a prayer for her, she walked into the room and said “Oh, it doesn’t look like Dora.”   Far from being an insensitive comment, it was tinged with tenderness and some surprise.  Of course, she would have always seen my grandma at church dressed smartly in a skirt and navy blue blazer with court shoes, beautiful white hair perfectly curled–always immaculate.  But her observation ran deeper than that, for me. There is something that, when it begins to fade, makes the person look less and less like

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A personal update: nearing the end

A personal update: nearing the end

My grandma is in the very last stages of her life.  It is hard to say, of course, but I can’t see that she will continue for more than a day or two.  It could be hours.  She is sedated now and unresponsive to touch.  This is a blessing in some ways, because her breathing is accompanied by a rattle, and she sometimes appears to be trying to cough and struggling.  It is disturbing to watch, but her facial muscles show no signs of agitation.  The nurses have reassured us that she is relaxed and that the experience is worse

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The progression

The progression

Things are progressing, I know. Despite my trying to breathe in every detail of the moment in some childlike hope of preserving it–the shop-bought fragrance that releases in occasional puffs from beneath the hostess trolley by the door, the warm rumblings of the cat’s belly against my thigh, the silenced tennis match on the TV, the way the pale light falls in uneven stripes through the old, broken blinds—things are progressing (regressing?) and there is nothing we can do about it. We are simultaneously slipping through the wide sinkhole of the future, and falling back through the broken pieces of

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