Time of death is a hard thing to pin down, and they signed it on the death certificate at some time I can't quite figure out. I got home around 4:35, and the EMT/Firemen got here less than ten minutes later. They were very upset that we had a do-not-resuscitate order, but not as much as I was, but I knew that it wouldn't help to bring her back, if they could, and ... she wasn't there. I've seen that before, the "cast-off" look.
Dying of cancer which has destroyed half of the liver happens because the cancer is voracious. It consumes all the body's resources: not just the blood glucose, but the proteins, the minerals, the repair material that the liver creates. Penny understood she had to drink her liquids to keep from dehydrating and to help her body keep going, and she felt good enough that day to finish one and part of another of the ensure bottles. She felt good after doing her morning stretch with the help of the home therapy worker.
But there's that metabolic low that happens around 2-3pm, and she took off her glasses, started a nap, and when the low hit, it kept going.
I dreamed about her earlier this week, and it was disjointed, confusing and weird because I have been operating on even less sleep than usual. Four hours a night instead of six, but with fitful naps. I've been talking to her more while awake, too. Sometimes, I get answered, but not audibly like it would be in a dream. Sometimes the answer is something I wouldn't and couldn't come up with and is exactly what she would say, and sometimes it's clearly my "internal Penny" - the model of her that grew over thirty years wired into my brain by our constant conversation, our being-together - and sometimes it's that other not-a-voice that I sometimes hear when praying, and the answer comes with a profound sense of joy. Sometimes that irritates me a lot, because, I don't see why the world had to be made this way.
And of course the answer is that God is tremendously selfish in His love.
While we are here, embedded in the irrevocable decay, time and space enslaved to entropy, bodies inevitably failing, prisoning us, we are learning the million lessons of living, and when He wants us, whether we have finished or not, He takes us out of the prison. It's hard on those of us who are left because the love which we tied between us is stretched and pulled, and we fed it with the communion between us and the touch of bodies.
God is here, immanent in the world. And we are here, but cannot hear Him because we are deafened, cannot see because we are blinded.
So, two years. I'm glad you got free of it, Penny, because it was so horrible for you, the last six years, and I will see you when I'm done.
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