The rattling sound is ever so slight, but within the next 2 hours it becomes stronger and takes on a steady rhythm. I listen sadly to the cadence, knowing that the end is near, as I remember other loved ones I sat next to who have passed on. Life is slowly coming to an end…
I ask permission to hold his hand. Even though my friend is not talking, I feel asking is always a better option. They can hear us, and they let us know when they do not want to be touched. I receive permission to hold his hand and while mindlessly caressing his fingers, I watch every wrinkle disappear. It is like a painter that takes a magic brush and wipes every frown, every worry out of that oh-so-loved face. It is gone… All I see is peace and tranquility.
The last two and a half years, this man struggled with every illness imaginable and each time he made it. Each time we were told that he was going to die, yet each time he truly pulled through. This time, however, hearing the rattle, I knew there is no return from this last phase in life. The rattle is awful to hear for the one listening but means absolutely no pain for the person going through it. This, I clearly see in his face.
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