Tag Archives: dying

1786. Good Friday

Tommy had sat for three days next to his wife’s bed. Sometimes he held her hand. Sometimes he dabbed her brow with a cool flannel. Her breathing was a little laboured. The liver cancer had hit fast, but these last three days of waiting were slow.

She seemed to settle for the night; another long night.

And then the breathing changed.

And then a stillness came.

Tommy sat for an hour before phoning anyone.

1391. Horizon clouds

Claude had this thing about huge fluffy cloud formations on the horizon. “It’s silly,” he said, “but whenever someone I know is dying there’s always a huge fluffy cloud formation on the horizon. It’s as if angels with a golden chariot are hidden in the cloud and are coming to take the dying person away. Of course, it’s only my imagination and I doubtless notice it only when someone is dying, for it’s probably there most days.”

Claude remembered when his father was dying many years ago, and a huge fluffy cloud formation appeared on the horizon. He remembered when his mother was dying, again many years ago, and a cloud formation more majestic than fluffy, appeared on the horizon. He remembered when his wife was dying and a great evening red and gold cloud formation appeared with shafts of beatific sunlight.

Claude was now 78. Last evening he saw the most stunning cloud formation appear on the horizon. It was so beautiful he took a photo.

746. Mother of three


Violet was the mother of three. She had cancer. She was thirty-six. Her three children were ten, eight and four. They visited their mother every day at the hospital.

Violet’s pain increased. They put her on morphine. She started to slur a little. She started to hallucinate. Her children were frightened of her.

Violet told the doctor she was not to take the morphine. The pain was excruciating. Her children continued to visit. Violet smiled calmly.

Today, Violet’s long dead. Her children are all grown up. How they would like to wind the clock back.

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