Day 11 of Hospice
The stroke of midnight would begin the longest day of our lives, but your shortest. 3 hours ago we had our in-home shift change and nurse Paige came back to the house after going home to shower and change. We anticipated you would have already passed away by now, but you were still physically here. She would sit with us and rotate with moral support since she was officially off the clock. Auntie A and I stayed by your side doing the medication rotation. At this point, it was so often neither of us could really sleep. You continued to breathe and I will leave it at that. It isn't the type of breathing that makes you feel comfortable hearing or watching as a parent, but it is the type of breathing letting you know that it might end soon.
I forced myself to take a shower at some point. Aba and I left the room for a bit on purpose. Auntie A whispered in your ear and even called the time at one point only to say it was a false alarm. So many tears had fallen I could have sworn my tear ducts would dry up, they hadn't, and they didn't.
By 2am we sent nurse Paige to sleep in our room, she needed to sleep in case she would be working in the morning. We told her we would wake her up if anything changed. She was able to get in a few hours of sleep. By 3:30am I lost my cool and called hospice. They came out to listen and to remind us that it could take any amount of time, that you were in charge, and that this really is the awful part but as long as you were comfortable there wasn't anything that could be done. You were comfortable, I know that...but to be honest, I was far from that.
We took turns holding you, laying with you, and making sure you knew we were there. Maybe that was the problem? I am sorry if we gave you reasons to hang on for so long. I am sorry if we made you linger when you were ready to leave.
In the morning your siblings decided to stay home from school. Laeya had been torn about the decision because her class was going to have an event at one of her teachers' houses and she didn't want to miss it, but she also didn't want to leave you. I could sense her struggle. By noon we sent her and assured her if anything happened we would send Auntie A to come to tell her.
Our palliative care social worker and nurse came by around 11:30/12. We all were sitting in your room. I for the first time in 2 weeks laid you alone on your pillow and sat with my back against the wall. No one was holding you anymore, we let you rest, but we were all there. Noam went to take a nap, Meena and Tzvi were just being themselves somewhere else in the house, I am not even sure what they were doing. The conversation was not focused on you, we were just laughing and talking.
At 1:04pm aba ran into the room. He climbed into the bed and I remember being slightly annoyed that he was claiming the space directly next to you when I specifically had moved away. I can't explain why little things irritated me, but they did. We resumed our conversation, and the social worker and nurse were scheduling their next visit. The social worker kept looking in your direction, I chose to ignore what her eyes were communicating, but I knew she noticed some sort of change. I had secretly as well, but I just kept focusing on the conversation.
I looked at you, I looked at the clock, and I remember aba's panic. I reminded him that you had done the breath-holding multiple times over the last 2 days (but I knew this time what it meant), he began to cry, but I felt a feeling of instant peace mixed with relief that your pain, suffering, seizing, and complications were finally over. At 1:08pm as your baby brother napped in the room next door, as your 2 older siblings were being themselves, as your biggest sister said her part in her class performance that was caught on film at the same exact moment, as life was literally continuing on, and you were satisfied with how it looked from your view, you took your very last breath.
I hope and pray the amount of love we gave you up until your last breath is enough to stay with you for your forever and beyond. Until next time.