Moments ago she was breathing,
Not very well, enough to sustain life,
Minimal existence at 95.

Twisted and thin, she took pleasure in
Simple things just the day before.
Spoon-fed green Jello with whipped cream,
A warm blanket, and someone to speak
A few cheerful words from the heart.
Not half-truths of hurried visitors,
Who played with their smart phones.
Just ten minutes and honest words,
That’s not asking a lot, a few years shy of 100.

Again, her breathing became shallow and
Noisy. For a brief moment stopped.
Her blue eyes did not change expression.
She knew her time had come.
Whether from courage or quiet acceptance,
She did not struggle for another breath.
For an instant, all of her life’s accomplishments
Spoke to her, a streaming spiritual video.
Daughter, wife, mother, children, grandchildren,
A proud lineage. In the self-discerning light,
She was satisfied. Her TV flickered off.

When her breathing ceased, her body,
Contorted with disability and pain, relaxed.
With a final exhalation, she was released.
Someone looked at the wall clock and
Methodically pronounced her death.
In the early morning hours, it was AM not PM.
They draped a clean bed sheet over her.
Gloves removed, family notified.
Funeral home, cremation services.
She had a DNR – Death Now Ready.

Impressions while visiting a nursing home after the grandmother of a friend had died.

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