Walking Each Other Home

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Jeannie turned 65 so we caked her on Sunday. She loved the attention and the food. The palliative docs are balancing her meds to keep her calm. Still loves her rum and lattes and life.

Always a joker, one night as I kissed her when I was going out shopping she said to our daughter Annie, lying in bed with her, “Your kisses are really different from Dad’s!” Annie laughed and said, “That was Dad. My kisses are not as prickly…”

Some of you might think we are carefully guarding you from the tough parts of this journey to death’s door, but really, this process is mostly gentle. Boring at times – we get lots of reading done and have enforced quiet time. Funny too. Occasionally frustrating and of course there are tears. We have lots of hours to reflect on the important things in life. Like relationships. Kindness. Touch. And of course, love.

We’ve read many books, Jeannie and I, and we recommend one in particular for anyone preparing to face death. Or walk to its door with another. Dr. Kathryn Mannix, a palliative physician who has witnessed thousands of deaths, pulled together a collection of stories in With the End in Mind: Dying, Death, and Wisdom in an Age of Denial. Her perspective is amazing.

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And so we cherish these moments with Jeannie as a family. Thank you for your love and support as we walk with Jeannie.

Hugs, and still more hugs, David

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