Edited By Jon F. Nussbaum, Howard Giles and Amber Worthington
Chapter Seven: Conversations at the End of Life
Conversations AT THE End OF Life
MAUREEN P. KEELEY
I completed my relationship with him. I didn’t walk away thinking, ‘Aauugh, I should have said.’ ‘I didn’t say.’ ‘I could have said.’ ‘I wanted to say.’ There wasn’t anything that we didn’t really say. And in the final analysis the most important, the absolutely most important things were all said; because the person who is left doesn’t get stuck holding a bunch of untied knots. It’s complete. You’re not dragging anything along with it. We both completed the relationship. We both were able to let each other know that we didn’t want it to go that way. But since it was going to go that way anyway [we made the most of that final time]. (Loved one describing her final conversations with her husband, Keeley & Yingling, 2007, pp. 17, 18)
She liked to be touched because she said they only touch her when they need to give her medication. So, she liked to have her hair brushed or her arms or legs rubbed, and just talking. She loved to hear about my kids. I told her once that I have a flower garden and every time I saw her after that, without fail, we talked about my garden. It was a connection for us, a bridge. (Shyanne,1 a hospice volunteer, describing visits to her patient, Foster, 2007, pp. 151–152)
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