Yesterday was by birthday, a day to celebrate 35 wonderful years and a day to celebrate a new series of tomorrows to make memories.  It was a joy to spend it quietly with my family...

Yesterday was also the day I watched my Great Aunty Sarah take her last few breaths...She had been battling a serious lung infection for nearly three weeks in the hospital now, and the doctors confirmed that even their strongest antibiotic was not killing it.  During this time, we watched a dramatic shift in her health from being a vibrant, strong 86 year-old, to a weak, frail woman who could no longer breathe or eat on her own.

My family forewarned me about visiting her.  "Why do you want to see her?" my husband asked concerned.  "Annette, trust me.  Do you really want to see her struggling?  Do you really want the image you see in the hospital to be your last full memory of her?"

I didn't care.  I had to see her.

I had seen my aunt in the hospital last Friday, and then, just then, there seemed to be a glimmer of hope that she'd be able to pull through this after all.  Now, from all reports, she was not the same woman. 

"Annette, honey.  You don't want to see her now," my mom cautioned.  "She can't speak to you.  She already knows that you love her.  Please don't go."

I still didn't care.  I went.  I went to say my last goodbyes.  I went to say "I love you" one more time.  I went to give her one last kiss on the cheek.  I went, and although my heart sunk to know this was officially the end, I arrived, not to see her struggling, but to see a woman falling into a deep, permanent, peaceful slumber.  They gave her a Morphine shot and was about to administer her another to slow her pulse, slow her breathing, and transition her exit from this life.

It was a hard decision to make, but I'm glad I did.  No regrets....only loving thoughts and memories of my great aunt who was like a grandmother to me in so many ways. 

Today I celebrate the life of my wonderful Aunty Sarah.


  1. I'm so sorry for your loss, and I completely understand your need to see her and be there, it's important.
    Happy belated birthday too.

  2. Oh Annette, I'm so sorry. I'm glad that there were no regrets in your decision to go and see her, give her loving thoughts one more time, and share your love which she surely knew you felt. I'm sorry that this day coincided with your birthday.
    Happy birthday - may the most that you want be the very least that you get!

  3. I'm so glad you listened to your heart and said goodbye. I'm sure it meant a lot to your great-aunt.

    Happy belated birthday to you!

  4. I'm glad you went. You've gotta follow your heart on that. I too recently lost my dear grandma and it was a very sudden/fast progressing illness. It is still so unbelievable. I'm sorry for your loss. Hugs.

  5. I'm so sorry for your loss. I think you will always be glad you went to see her and say good-bye. I didn't get to say good-bye to my grandpa. I was supposed to go see him before going back to college but figured I would see him the next weekend. He died taking a nap that day....and I've always been sad that I didn't get one more afternoon with Grandpa.


  6. Annette, I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm glad you went, it's so nice that you were able to be there with her at the end. She had you by her side which had to of been a comfort.

    Happy belated birthday!

  7. Annette I am so sorry for you and your family. You did the right thing by seeing her. I hope you can find some comfort in knowing she lived a long and full life. But I know the loss is so great and it is heart wrenching. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. I wish you a happy birthday!

    Mama Hen

  8. I'm so sorry for your loss Annette. I'm sure you did the right thing by going to see her. She knew and you will have that peace knowing you were able to be there.

  9. First of all I'm so sorry to hear about your aunt. I'm sure she felt you there with her though no matter what sort of state she was in.
    My prayers are with you and your family.

    Also happy birthday!

  10. Oh Annette, I am so so sorry for your loss. I'm glad you were able to say goodbye to a woman who obviously means so very much to you. You'll be in my thoughts today. (And it feels kind of weird to say this, but belated Happy Birthday!)

  11. Annette, I'm so sorry for your loss! I completely understand your need to see her and say goodbye. I was the same way when my grandpa passed away. We knew the time was coming, so I would go for breakfast every single morning before school just to get some extra time with him, I visited in the hospital. I thank god I did that, he passed away in his sleep and I never truly got to say goodbye. Your Auntie sounds like she was an amazing person and will definitely be missed!


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