The story, or one version of it.
Your loved one is dying. There is nothing to do but be with them. They are in their own bed, in their own home, and comfortable. Their team of carers is nearby and readily accessible. The room is warm and softly lit, and your loved one’s favorite music is playing. A table near the bed holds a vase of their favorite scented flowers. You gently hold their hand, lightly stroking their fingers, perhaps talking softly, perhaps sitting silently, a loving, calming companion on their final journey.
The story, or another version of it.
Your loved one is dying. Nothing has been done. No documents have been signed, no preferences discussed, no arrangements made. Your loved one is strapped in a hospital bed, with various tubes and lines snaking into their body. The room is cold and harshly lit, a cacophony of beeps, unfamiliar voices, and blaring TVs. Medicinal odors prevail. You are underprepared, overwhelmed, and frozen in a rising tide of fear, uncertainty, and regret.
Is your loved one nearing the end of their journey? Consider the services of a Death Midwife.
Your loved one is dead. You may feel gutted, lost, or numb. You may feel relief, and then guilt about feeling relief. You may feel nothing or everything. All of this is normal.
There isn’t one way to grieve. You don’t get grief “right.” The stages of grief are not checkboxes to be ticked. There is no magic number of weeks, months, or years that pass before you “get over it.” You don’t get over it. You learn to allow it, to honor it, and to live with it in your own way and on your own terms. The depth of your grief reflects the depth of your love. Both remain.