TED Talks posted this yesterday and I watched it today. It's only 5 minutes long and it really gave a close-up look into the final moments of life. I found it comforting.
As someone in a helping profession, I have been around death. I have seen hospice patients in their final days and hours. I have seen dead bodies. I have seen nursing home residents in their final days and hours as well. I have lost a great-aunt, two grandfathers, and my husband. But I have never watched someone die right in front of me.
I was not with Rick when he died. I left a breathing person at home and came back to a body. Rick's final moments on earth are something I think about all the time. I have imagined pain and anguish. I have imagined utter despair. I have imagined loneliness and anxiety. I will never know what Rick was thinking or feeling in his last moments on earth, but perhaps it wasn't all bad - or even bad at all. Perhaps at the very, very end, he felt peace.
And before he took his life in his own hands, if the three questions from the above video ran through his mind, I want him to know:
Rick, I can forgive anything you ever did. You were a loving husband and a special person. There was never a need for guilt or regret.
Rick, I will remember you forever. Every note and email you left behind means something to me. Every funny joke. Every silly story. Every photo. I have a million memories to help me remember you. I think of you every day. You will never be forgotten.
Rick, your life mattered. It had meaning. You loved me. You taught me. You shaped me. You cared for me. You helped me. If I never knew you, if I never loved you, if I never lived with you, my life would be different. I would have missed out. I am grateful for everything you offered me in our time together and I wouldn't have it any other way.