When All Is Said And Done – Part 2
Generosity (Waiting For The Inevitable)
Leaving; saying goodbye. Leaving him in his hospital bed and going home. Leaving him, just for that day, just at the end of that particular visit. Leaving him knowing it could be the very last time.
We knew it but we didn’t say it. What was there to say? We’d already talked about his death. We’d talked about it only briefly, but we’d talked.
The day’s conversation had been just small talk – what I’d been doing or was planning to do. Irrelevancies, but better than silence. It’s not as if he had a lot to talk about. Not a lot was happening in his world as he waited for the inevitable.
A few days later it was time to say goodbye again. As I was going we made eye contact for those extra few fractions of a second that made it significant. It was a look from him that stood in stead of any words, then a small nod, then an undemonstrative thumbs-up. He knew he was dying; he knew I knew he was dying; he wanted me to know that that was OK. Generosity comes in many guises.
Now I know that that thumbs-up was his last gesture to me, was the last thing I saw him do. That was the last time I saw him.
Finality can be a sad emotion, however reasonable and reasoned your feelings might be. That’s OK. Sadness is OK.