Saturday, April 17, 2021

Dying With A View by Felicity Edwards

 The hospice nurse arrived. Mr Cambell met her. “Thank you so much for coming. Jen, my wife, is in the front room. We moved her bed there so she could see the view.”

The nurse soon had Jen washed, and the bedclothes changed. The bed was one of those where a button smoothly changes the position of the patient. Alyson put Jen in a comfortable upright position. “I’m going to check your syringe driver. Then I’ll leave you until this evening.”

“Will you be coming back?” Asked Jen.

Nodding, Alison said, “Yes, I must top up the driver.”

Jen dozed a bit as Pete sat next to the bed, holding her hand. Jen opened her eyes and looked down the hill and out over the forest. She sighed. “I’m sorry to leave you like this. We had so many plans.”

“I know, but let’s not think about that, let's concentrate on now. At least we completed all the alterations and you’ve got the best place for the view you love.”

They talked as they always had. Jen’s words were slower. Spontaneously, she dropped off to sleep. As he sat looking at her, it filled him with sadness, tears coursing, unchecked, down his face. But pleased she was home, not lying all alone in the hospital. He took a shuddering breath, kissed her forehead and whispered. “I hoped you would die this way.”

She opened her eyes and smiled at him one last time. “Thank you, my love. You have always been my rock, but I have to take this journey alone. Please turn the lights out so I can see the stars, one last time.”

She slipped away so peacefully. He marvelled, as in life, so in death, she was quiet and composed.

© Felicity Edwards

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